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Pakistani court to indict former PM Khan in contempt case

Pakistani court to indict former PM Khan in contempt case

- Imran Khan in his written reply to Islamabad High Court regretted remarks against female judge but did not apologize unconditionally
 

By Islamuddin Sajid

 

ISLAMABAD (AA) – A Pakistani court on Thursday said former Prime Minister Imran Khan will be indicted for contempt of court on Sept. 22.

 

A five-member bench of Islamabad High Court headed by Chief Justice Athar Minallah initiated contempt proceedings against Khan following his speech at a public rally in Islamabad last month. He is accused of threatening police officials and a female judge, who extended physical remand of Shahbaz Gill, his chief of staff arrested over treason charges.

 

Khan's party claims Gill was tortured in police custody, a charge authorities have denied.

 

In his written reply to the court, Khan regretted his remarks in which said he would initiate action against the officials, but did not tender an unconditional apology.

 

“The respondent (Imran Khan) takes this opportunity to express his deep regrets over his unintentional utterances during the course of his speech at a rally which was taken out in response to the shocking news of physical torture of Shahbaz Gill," Khan said in his reply.

 

“The respondent never meant to hurt her (the judge’s) feelings and if her feelings have been hurt, it is deeply regretted. The respondent neither meant to threaten the lady judge nor could he think of doing so,” he added.

 

Last week, the high court gave the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman another chance to submit a “well-considered” response in the contempt proceedings initiated against him for his controversial remarks.

 

Since his ouster from power in a parliament no-confidence vote in April, Khan has staged a series of anti-government rallies and has called for early elections, which are otherwise due in late 2023. He also faces terrorism charges for his speech against state officials.

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