Imran’s indictment deferred after he shows willingness to apologize to judge

Hundreds of security personnel deployed; anti-riot force put on standby, Nadra Chowk road sealed

The indictment of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has been deferred by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) after he showed willingness to apologize to the judge against whom he had passed comments.

After the hearing began before a five-member bench, the former prime minister was called to the stand.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah said that they will only read out the indictment. But before he did so, his lawyer approached the bench and said that his client wants to say something to the court.

At this, the court allowed Imran to speak.

Imran said that he would speak briefly. He added that he has always talked about the rule of law.

He added that he never intended to commit contempt of court, and that he sat through two hearings and wanted to say something earlier but did not get the opportunity.

Now, he said, he wanted to clarify his remarks and that he is willing to go to the judge and apologize for his remarks.

The court asked Imran to submit this as an affidavit so that it can be included in their decision.

They then deferred the matter until October 3.

Fighting against mafia, not judiciary

After walking out of the court, he said that he was waging a war against the ‘mafias’ ruling the country and it was them against whom he was running his movement for ‘true independence’.

He added that he was not fighting against the judiciary.

Earlier, he was due to be indicted today in contempt of court case by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) today unless he submits an unconditional apology for remarks regarding an additional sessions judge.

His convoy has arrived at the court and the hearing by a five-member bench is expected too commence soon.

Two key roads have been closed in Islamabad and security has been beefed up at the court as the ICT police are also preparing for a PTI long march announced for Saturday.

The PTI chairman will appear before a five-member bench headed by IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah, and comprising Justices Mohsin Akhtar Kay­ani, Miangul Hassan Aur­an­gzeb, Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri, and Babar Sattar.

At the previous hearing, the bench unanimously decided that the former prime minister will be indicted on Tuesday, September 22, after he failed to offer an unconditional apology for issuing a threat to Islamabad Additional Sessions Judge Zeba Chaudhry.

Security arrangements

On Thursday, Islamabad authorities were preparing to enhance security at the high court with the deployment of additional contingents from police and paramilitary forces expected.

Over 700 police personnel under two senior superintendents of police have been deployed around the court premises while the area will be monitored by the CCTV cameras.

Inside the court premises, Rangers and FC personnel were being deployed.

Security officials have carried barricades using barbed wires. Anti-riot police force has also been put on standby.

Roads leading towards the high court have been barricaded, SAMAA TV reported.

Read also: ‘Pakistan heading towards civil unrest’: Imran Khan

Additionally, the police has installed shipping containers at the D-Chowk as it prepares to deal with a planned PTI long march on Islamabad. Imran Khan has announced that he will start a movement against the government from Saturday.

Islamabad police announced on Thursday that NADRA Chowk and Express Chowk have been closed for Red Zone entry and exit.

“Alternatively, Ayub Chowk, Serena Chowk and Margallah Road can be used for Red Zone entry and exit,” the police said in a tweet.

Code of conduct

The IHC registrar Wednesday issued a circular notifying the code of conduct for the hearing, allowing only 15 members of Imran Khan’s team to accompany him.

The larger bench will commence the hearing at 2:30pm on September 22 in courtroom No. 1, where only pass holders will be allowed in, according to the circular.

It said that 15 members of Imran Khan’s legal team will be allowed to enter the courtroom. The attorney general office and advocate general office will issue passes to 15 law officers, it said.

Three amici curiae and 15 journalists covering the court will also be allowed.

Five lawyers each from the High Court Bar and the District Bar will attend the hearing.

The registrar has instructed the police and district administration to ensure security arrangements in order to maintain the court decorum.

The case

Imran Khan issued the alleged threat addressing a public rally in Islamabad on August 20 after the judge remanded his close aide Gill to police custody.

Then-Acting Chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court Justice Aamir Farooq initiated contempt of court proceedings against Imran Khan and recommended the constitution of a larger bench.

The bench rejected the first reply submitted by Khan’s legal team and allowed the former prime minister to reconsider his position and submit another reply.

On September 8, the court considered Khan’s second reply and decided to indict him when the PTI chief failed to offer an unconditional apology.

Islamabad police had also registered a terror case against Imran Khan under terrorism charges.

However, earlier this week the Islambad High Court quashed the terrorism charges against the PTI chief.

Imran Khan

islamabad high court

contempt of court case

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