Imran Khan's indictment deferred again in Toshakhana case

Exemption from appearance granted to PTI chief after ECP counsel's approval; Imran Khan to be indicted on Feb 28

Arfa Feroz Zake
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan speaks to the media in this file photo. —PTI Instagram
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan speaks to the media in this file photo. —PTI Instagram

  • Imran Khan gets another exemption in Toshakhana case.
  • PTI counsel says doctors have advised him rest.
  • ECP laywer says Imran Khan must appear on next hearing.

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Imran Khan was given relief on Tuesday by an Islamabad court which granted him exemption one more time and deferred his indictment till February 28 in the Toshakhana case.

Additional Sessions Judge Zafar Iqbal heard the case today filed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) last year after it found the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman guilty of corrupt practices.

At the outset of today’s hearing, the legal team of the former premier sought another exemption from personal appearance on medical grounds. Earlier, the court had fixed February 7 as the date for indictment but deferred the matter till today, accepting Imran Khan’s plea for exemption.

The reference was filed by the ECP in November last year, praying the court to proceed against the PTI chief under criminal law for allegedly misleading officials about the gifts he received from foreign dignitaries during his tenure as prime minister.

The ECP had requested that the PTI chief be convicted for the offences mentioned under Sections 167 (corrupt practice) and 173 (making or publishing a false statement or declaration) of the Elections Act 2017.

It added that as per the record, the state gifts were purchased from the Toshakhana for Rs21.5 million on the basis of their assessed value, while they were valued at around Rs108 million. 

Today’s hearing

During the hearing today, Imran Khan’s counsel Gohar Ali Khan informed the court that some x-rays are to be conducted of the PTI chairman on February 28.

At this, Judge Zafar Iqbal remarked that exemption pleas are being filed since Feb 9, if this continues, the trial will prolong.

To this, the counsel said the problem is of Imran Khan’s travel to Islamabad.

When the PTI chief’s lawyer filed a plea seeking exemption, ECP’s representative Saad Hasan objected to it, saying Imran Khan went to the Lahore High Court a day ago.

To this, the judge said that the court can direct PIMS to submit a medical report of Imran Khan’s health status and asked the counsel to show the medico-legal report to ascertain the nature of his injuries.

“The court has summoned Imran Khan in a personal capacity. He is being granted exemption at every time,” the judge noted.

Gohal Ali Khan then apprised the court that Imran Khan went to the LHC from his Zaman Park residence in Lahore and it took time due to security. “Appearance in Islamabad Katcheri is a bit difficult.”

The doctors have advised Imran Khan to rest, he said, adding that the case is of non-serious nature.

“Imran Khan did not appear on doctors’ advice and security issues.”

Then the court directed the authorities to provide attested copies of the case record to the PTI chief’s counsel.

At that point, the ECP’s lawyer also dropped his objections on the exemption, asking Imran Khan to ensure his presence at the next hearing on February 28.