Pakistan court docket rejects ex-PM Khan’s plea to droop warrant


LAHORE, Pakistan — A Pakistani court docket on Thursday rejected a petition from former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s legal professionals to droop a warrant for him to seem in court docket in a graft case linked to his time period in workplace — a improvement that will increase the probability of one other police try to arrest the ousted premier.

Khan has been holed up in his residence within the jap metropolis of Lahore, the place clashes erupted earlier this week when police tried to detain him after he failed to point out up at an earlier cour listening to within the case.

Khan, who was ousted from workplace final April, is dealing with prices in a number of authorized circumstances, together with the graft case, and likewise terrorism, over verbally threatening a feminine decide final 12 months. He is now because of seem in court docket within the capital, Islamabad, on Saturday to reply the indictment that he had illegally offered state presents as prime minister and hid property.

Judge Zafar Iqbal dominated towards suspending the warrant after listening to arguments from Khan’s lawyer Khawaja Haris and the prosecution. The decide defined his choice by saying Khan had forfeited a few of his rights with “his defiance of the court process.”

Also Thursday, a Lahore High Court prolonged a pause within the effort to arrest Khan, easing tensions within the metropolis after clashes erupted earlier this week when police tried to detain him. His supporters amassed outdoors Khan’s residence as police fired tear fuel and fought again baton-wielding officers for 2 days.

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The pause — in impact till Friday morning — was seen as a reprieve for the 70-year-old opposition chief.

The courts have additionally barred Khan and his Pakistan Tehree-e-Insaf opposition social gathering from holding a rally on Sunday forward of elections for the meeting in Punjab, the place Lahore is the provincial capital.

Thursday’s order despatched a wave of reduction amongst Khan’s supporters — although safety forces deployed round Khan’s residence had been nonetheless on the scene.

Usman Anwar, the Punjab police chief, stated police would “ comply with the court order,” with out elaborating.

Khan has claimed his ouster was a conspiracy by his successor, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, and the United States. Both Washington and Sharif’s authorities have denied the allegations.

Saad Hassan, a lawyer for Pakistan’s election tribunal, stated Thursday that Khan has been avoiding court docket hearings since January.

Violence erupted in Lahore on Tuesday when about 1,000 Khan supporters clashed with police once they tried to arrest the previous premier at his home within the upscale Zaman Park neighborhood. Khan’s supporters hurled petrol bombs, rocks and bricks at police. Officers responded by swinging batons, firing tear fuel and utilizing water cannons. They did not arrest Khan.

On Wednesday, Khan stated in a video message that he was able to journey to Islamabad on Saturday to seem in court docket. He posed for cameras with piles of spent tear fuel shells he stated had been collected from round his residence.

“What crime did I commit that my house has been attacked like this,” he tweeted on the time.

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Ahmed reported from Islamabad.

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