Judge ready to halt arrest attempts if Imran surrenders in court

by IANS |

Islamabad, March 16 (IANS) A Pakistani judge on Thursday said that he would stop the Islamabad police from arresting former Prime Minister Imran Khan in the Toshakhana case if the latter surrendered in court.

Additional District and Sessions (ADSJ) Judge Zafar Iqbal made the remarks while hearing the Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) reference seeking criminal proceedings against Khan for concealing details of the state gifts, Dawn reported.

The sessions court was set to indict the PTI chairman in the reference on February 28, but his lawyer had requested the judge that he be exempted from the hearing because he had to appear in several other courts.

His indictment was deferred multiple times before.

The judge had subsequently issued non-bailable warrants for Khan and instructed the police to present him in court by March 7.

The former premier managed to dodge the arrest and later approached the Islamabad High Court (IHC) for the cancellation of the warrants, Dawn reported.

The IHC, while granting some relief to the PTI chief, had told him to appear in sessions court by March 13, but the former prime minister once again skipped the hearing.

Resultantly, ADSJ Iqbal had on Monday re-issued non-bailable warrants for Khan and directed the police to bring him to court by March 18.

However, when the police reached his Zaman Park residence in Lahore to arrest him on Tuesday, they were met with resistance, leading to two-way pitched battles between PTI supporters and law enforcement agencies, Dawn reported.

The clashes ultimately subsided after the courts intervened on Wednesday.

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