Pakistan

FIA grills PTI chief’s lawyer Naeem Panjotha for ‘eight hours’

Panjotha summoned for probe in social media posts of Judge Humayun Dilawar

Ayaz Akbar Yousafzai
August 08, 2023
Naeem Haider Panjutha (C), spokesperson to PTI Chairman Imran Khan on legal affairs, arrives for a media briefing in Islamabad on August 7, 2023. — AFP
Naeem Haider Panjutha (C), spokesperson to PTI Chairman Imran Khan on legal affairs, arrives for a media briefing in Islamabad on August 7, 2023. — AFP

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) cybercrime wing grilled Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s lawyer Naeem Haider Panjotha for nearly eight hours, sources told Geo News on Tuesday.

Amid reports of his arrest, the sources said the lawyer left the FIA headquarters, where he was summoned for investigation in the social media posts of Judge Humayun Dilawar.

Earlier, PTI lawyer Sher Afzal Khan Marwat in a tweet claimed that Panjotha’s clerk had said the lawyer had been taken into custody but it was not clear whether it was a formal arrest or not as the first information report cannot be “registered directly and without permission of Islamabad High Court”.

“Naeem Haider Panjotha Adv has reportedly been arrested by FIA. He went to FIA headquarters to join inquiry in Humayun Dilawar's Facebook posts,” the PTI leader tweeted.

Marwat said that Panjotha’s arrest “would unite the legal fraternity” and would not stop the PTI chairman’s legal team from discharging their “professional obligations”.

On the direction of the IHC, the Cybercrime Circle of FIA had launched an inquiry against Panjotha and had directed him to appear before the inquiry team at the Cybercrime Reporting Centre in Islamabad today.

In the summon, the inquiry officer had asked the lawyer to clear his position in the interest of justice for a fair trial.

Last week, the IHC referred the “controversial” Facebook posts of Judge Dilawar — who sentenced PTI chief Imran Khan in the Toshakhana case — to the FIA.

On August 5, Additional District and Sessions Judge Dilawar sentenced former prime minister Khan to three years in prison in the Toshakhana case, sending shockwaves across the party.

The PTI chief was arrested shortly after being convicted, which drew a strong response from the party.

The 70-year-old cricketer-turned-politician was found guilty of misusing his premiership to buy and sell gifts in state possession that were received during visits abroad and worth more than 140 million Pakistani rupees ($635,000), allegations which he continues to deny.

The PTI chief was seeking the transfer of his case from Judge Dilawar's court as he alleged he was biased towards him and had shown certain posts of his Facebook account to IHC.

However, the court was informed that the judge had denied that they were his posts.


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