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Pakistan's former PM Imran Khan, other leaders acquitted in vandalism cases

Speaking with journalists here, Khan's lawyer Naeem Panjotha said the cases against the PTI founder were based on political vengeance

Imran Khan

Imran Khan (Representative image)

Press Trust of India Islamabad

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In a relief to beleaguered Imran Khan, a district and sessions court in Pakistan on Monday acquitted the jailed former prime minister and other leaders of his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party in two vandalism cases.
The court's verdict in the two cases related to the vandalism during the March 2022 long march came during the hearing of acquittal pleas filed by the 71-year-old PTI founder and other politicians, Geo News reported.
Other leaders of the party who were acquitted included Zartaj Gul, Ali Nawaz Awan, Faisal Javed, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Qasim Suri, Raja Khurram Nawaz, Shireen Mazari, Saifullah Niazi, Asad Umar and Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmad.
The cases against Khan and other politicians were registered in the Kohsar and Karachi Company police stations for violation of Section 144 imposed by authorities following the arrest of the former prime minister in an alleged corruption case.
Speaking with journalists here, Khan's lawyer Naeem Panjotha said the cases against the PTI founder were based on political vengeance.
"No evidence of vandalism found against the PTI founder during the long march," he said, adding that the Islamabad administration did not issue any notification to enforce Section 144 in the capital city.
Various cases of the same nature have been registered against the PTI founder and he has been acquitted in several cases about the long march, the counsel added.
He also noted that other political leaders were acquitted in the vandalism cases.
The verdict on the acquittal of Khan, Qureshi, Rashid, Awan, Suri, and Nawaz was issued by Judicial Magistrate Shahzad Khan for a case registered at Kohsar police station.
The court had earlier reserved its verdict in the Long March vandalism case.
The development comes days after a district and sessions court on May 15 acquitted Khan in two cases about the May 9 vandalism.
Khan, the only prime minister to be voted out of his office, who remains behind bars in Adiala jail, and several other PTI leaders have been facing various allegations in the cases related to the violence following his arrest on May 9.
Islamabad High Court on May 16 also approved the PTI founder's bail petition in the 190 million pound National Crime Agency (NCA) settlement case.

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First Published: May 20 2024 | 2:57 PM IST

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