- Additional District and Sessions Judge Zafar Iqbal permitted Imran to mark attendance at the gate
- Imran says the 'ruling cabal of crooks' want to jail him till the elections are over
A district and sessions court on Saturday suspended the non-bailable arrest warrants issued against the former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan in the Toshakhana case.
Following the court appearance, Imran remarked "everyone knows that the ruling cabal of crooks" are determined to jail him until the elections are over.
"Already 96 cases on me and am sure after my appearance today I will hit my first century of court cases," he said.
Imran said he is grateful to the masses that came out during his court appearance.
Earlier, Imran left for Lahore after appearing in the court. Additional District and Sessions Judge Zafar Iqbal permitted Imran to go back after marking his attendance outside the Islamabad Judicial Complex.
Meanwhile, he summoned Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shibli Faraz.
Earlier, Imran said that he was not being allowed to enter the court’s premises to attend the hearing of a case pertaining to the Toshakahana reference.
In an audio message tweeted by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) official handle, Imran can be heard saying “I have been waiting outside the judicial complex’s door for past 15 minutes and trying to enter but they’ve done teargas [shelling] and placed checkpoints. It seems they don’t want me to reach the court room.”
The former PM reached Islamabad earlier during the day to appear in the court after Additional District and Sessions Judge Zafar Iqbal summoned him.
Meanwhile, Islamabad police has claimed that PTI workers were pelting law enforcement with stones.
According to Aaj News, a police checkpost was set on fire by protesters.
In a tweet, Islamabad Police stated that protesters were "shelling the judicial complex".
The PTI chief departed from his residence in Zaman Park, Lahore in the morning, according to a tweet by PTI.
The Islamabad Police said that the former PM's convoy is right in front of the Judicial Complex.
“Political workers are requested to clear the way so that Imran Khan can reach the court,” the official Twitter handle of the capital police said.
Islamabad's Judicial Complex has been put on high security to ensure law and order and avoid any untoward situations. The Islamabad police has alerted citizens of possible roadblocks and detours due to traffic disruption amid tight security arrangements around the G-11 judicial complex.
Meanwhile, PEMRA has currently prohibited live/recorded coverage of any kind of rally, public gathering and procession by any party, organization and individual etc. for today i.e. March 18, 2023 including from the Judicial Complex, Islamabad.
After the PTI raised security concerns, the government on Friday shifted the venue of the additional sessions court to a comparatively safer Judicial Complex for the hearing of the case.
The Islamabad administration imposed Section 144 in the capital on Friday night, prohibiting private companies, security guards, or individuals from carrying weapons.
“Chief commissioner Islamabad has directed citizens to cooperate with the authorities and avoid unnecessary movement to ensure the smooth implementation of the traffic plan," the capital police said in a tweet.
Additional District and Sessions (ADSJ) Judge Zafar Iqbal will take up the court proceedings of a plea by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) seeking criminal proceedings against Imran for concealing details of Toshakhana gifts.
The judge had earlier rejected the PTI's plea for nullification of arrest warrants of Imran in the Toshakhana case.
The same court had issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against the PTI leader on March 13 after he failed to appear in the Toshakhana case hearing and instructed police to present Imran in court by March 18.
They want to arrest me, says Imran
Earlier, in a video message, the former PM said he was aware that the government would arrest him as he headed to the Islamabad court to attend the Toshakhana case hearing.
“I am going to court despite knowing they’ll arrest me because I believe in the rule of law,” he said.
LHC approves protective bail for Imran Khan in 9 cases
Meanwhile, on Friday, Lahore High Court (LHC) approved protective bail of Imran in 9 cases.
Out of these, 8 cases pertain to terrorism charges.The PTI chief appeared before LHC to seek bail on Friday evening.
PTI leader Farrukh Habib said that protective bail has been granted to Imran till March 27 in three cases registered under terrorism provisions in Lahore.
“The bail has also been granted till March 24 in 5 cases listed under terrorism provisions in Islamabad,” he said.
IHC suspends arrest warrant
On Friday, the Islamabad High Court suspended the arrest warrant for Imran Khan in the Toshakhana case.
A single bench of Chief Justice Aamer Farooq heard Imran’s petition filed through Khawaja Haris Ahmed, Barrister Goher Ali Khan, Intazar Hussian Panjutha, Syed Muhammad Ali Bokhari, Naeem Haider Panjutha, and others.
In his application, Khan sought interim relief by way of suspension of warrants of arrest in order to facilitate the petitioner to appear on the date in question voluntarily. Justice Aamer in his written order said: “The petitioner shall not be arrested pursuant to the warrants provided that he appears before the trial court on 18.03.2023 within the court hours.
The PTI chairman had filed the petition after an Islamabad sessions court rejected his plea seeking suspension of his arrest warrant issued in the Toshakhana case.