Pakistani court suspends arrest warrant for ex-PM Khan until Monday
(Update: changes headline, lede, adds details of arrest wanted being lifted)
Islamabad, Mar 7 (EFE).- A court in Islamabad on Tuesday suspended an arrest warrant issued against former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan and summoned him to testify in six days’ time.
Khan is accused of illegally selling state gifts from foreign dignitaries and of failing to declare them to the electoral commission among his assets.
The developments came hours after Khan’s lawyer said the former international cricket star had barricaded himself at home due to “security threats” to his life and refused to appear in court for another hearing in the case.
“The Islamabad High Court has suspended the arrest warrants against Imran Khan and ordered him to appear before the relevant court on March 13,” Khan’s lawyer, Faisal Chaudhry, told EFE.
The order grants a week of relief to the former prime minister, after another court issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against him two days ago for him to appear before a judge on Tuesday.
But the warrant could not be executed after hundreds of supporters descended on Khan’s residence and prevented the officers from entering, allowing him to evade his court summons.
The opposition leader was due to answer specifically to a charge of failing to hand over gifts received at the Toshakhana, a government repository where gifts received from foreign officials are kept.
The 70-year-old cricketer-turned-politician has skipped three indictment hearings in Islamabad sessions court while recovering from bullet wounds sustained in an assassination attempt last year.
Khan was ousted from office in a no-confidence vote in April last year.
He has accused the country’s all-powerful military of helping the then-opposition to remove him from power. EFE