Court Acquits Imran Khan in Vandalism Case


SRINAGAR: In a major relief to Imran Khan, a Pakistani court on Thursday acquitted the jailed former premier, his aide Shah Mehmood Qureshi and former minister Sheikh Rashid in a case of vandalism.

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The case was registered in 2022 at Islamabad’s I-9 police station and based on the alleged involvement in acts of vandalism and violation of Section 144 of the Pakistan Penal Code which had banned rallies.

Judicial Magistrate Malik Muhammad Imran issued the verdict, acquitting the three senior leaders along with two more leaders of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf – Sadaqat Abbasi and Ali Nawaz Awan.

The ruling comes as relief to the former prime minister and his colleagues who had been involved in different cases after Khan’s government was toppled through a no-confidence vote in April 2022.

The party began protests and it took out a major rally in May 2022, which was led by Khan and joined by thousands of his workers. As the protestors entered Islamabad, low-scale violence broke out and properties were damaged.

The Islamabad police filed separate cases against 150 people on May 27, 2022, including Khan as well as other party leaders over allegations of arson and vandalism in the federal capital a day earlier.

At least 39 people were arrested by police after identification from the footage of the Safe City cameras and private TV news channels after the protest.

The protest was declared by Khan as the ‘Azadi March’ to get freedom from what he had then called the “slavery” of the “US-backed” coalition government.

The 71-year-old former cricketer-turned-politician has been in jail since August last year after being convicted in some of the nearly 200 cases slapped on him since his ouster in April 2022.




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