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Imran, 8 other PTI leaders acquitted in May 9 case

Khalid Iqbal
Tuesday, May 21, 2024

ISLAMABAD: A local court on Monday acquitted former prime minister Imran Khan in two cases pertaining to May 9 riots.

The verdict stated that no evidence against the PTI founder came to the record and ruled that “evidence available was not sufficient to prove allegations”. The verdict added that the court could not proceed with the case against Imran on such a ‘vague’ record and an accused could not be deprived of his legal rights without any reason. The case on behalf of the prosecution is not based on solid evidence, Imran has not been proven guilty even if the prosecution records the existing evidence. Considering the facts, the prosecution’s arguments have become highly suspicious.

PTI leaders Faisal Javed, Ali Nawaz Awan, Saifullah Niazi, Zartaj Gul, Asad Umar, Murad Saeed, Qasim Suri and Ali Muhammad Khan were also acquitted in the vandalism case. Judicial Magistrate Mureed Abbas Khan announced the verdict reserved during the last hearing.

Earlier, PTI counsel Naeem Panjotha argued that the use of Clause 109 against the PTI founder was false, stating that the case was based on a bogus FIR and could not be proceeded. He said the authority to register the case rested only with the person who imposed Section 144. He highlighted the absence of video evidence implicating Imran and other party leaders and said “Imran has been acquitted in similar cases before, if the allegations are baseless, the court can acquit the accused”.

Panjotha portrayed the case as politically-motivated, emphasizing the peaceful nature of protests. “The trees caught fire due to police shelling and none of the PTI workers was involved in it.”

The court, following the arguments, announced the verdict in favour of the former premier and his party leaders. However, the court reserved the verdict on Imran’s acquittal plea in a similar Azadi March case.