Pakistan court gives ex-PM Khan interim reprieve in terrorism case

Islamabad, Aug 25 (EFE).- A Pakistani court granted former prime minister Imran Khan a temporary respite in an alleged terrorism-related case over his controversial remarks against police and a female judge.

Judge Raja Jawad Hassan of the anti-terrorism court granted the opposition leader a prearrest bail valid up to Sep.1, which implies he won’t be detained until then, said Khan’s political secretary Hafiz Farhat Abbas.

“The court barred police from arresting Imran Khan until Sep.1 against a surety bond of 100,000 Pakistan rupees (approximately $460),” Abbas tweeted.

Khan appeared in the court amid tight security in the capital as his three-day protective bail ended on Thursday.

Outside the court, he told reporters that the terrorism case against him had turned the country into a “banana republic.”

“There is no law. They are trying to arrest the leader of the biggest party of the country. They are scared of the popularity of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf,” he thundered.

PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry said they would move the Islamabad High Court on Friday urging it to drop the lawsuit against the former cricket star-turned politician.

Police on Sunday charged Khan, who was removed from office in a no-confidence vote in April, with terrorism offenses for threatening police officers and the judge.

Khan made the controversial comments during a rally after one of his close aides, Shahbaz Gill, a former minister in Khan’s cabinet, was arrested on Aug.9 on charges of sedition.

Khan has alleged that Gill was tortured by the Islamabad police after his arrest.

Pakistani Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah has denied the torture allegation.

Police sealed all the roads leading to the court on Thursday, as Khan prepared to attend the hearing.

A large number of Khan’s supporters were also present near the court.

His party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, had warned of strong protests if Khan was arrested.

Sanaullah told EFE on Wednesday that the government would be left with no choice but to arrest Khan.

PTI’s vice chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Wednesday the case against Khan was “bogus” and an example of “political victimization” that has ruined the country’s image internationally.

Speaking to EFE, Qureshi warned of a “strong reaction” by the party if he was detained. EFE


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