Pakistan: Islamabad High Court grants two-week bail to former PM Imran Khan

Khan was arrested dramatically from court premises in a money laundering case

Imran Khan Policemen escort Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan (Centre) as he arrives at the High Court in Islamabad | AFP

A special Bench of Islamabad High Court granted two weeks of bail to former Prime Minister Imran Khan in a corruption case. On Thursday, the Supreme Court termed Khan's arrest from Court premises unlawful.

A division bench comprising Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb and Justice Saman Rafat Imtiaz heard the Al-Qadir trust corruption case, a day after the Supreme Court termed Khan's arrest from the IHC premises on Tuesday as invalid and unlawful.

Khan, 70, arrived at the court shortly after 11.30am local time amid tight security and underwent the biometric identification process and other formalities. The hearing was delayed for nearly two hours due to security reasons.

Earlier, the two judges left the courtroom amid pro-Khan slogan shouting by a lawyer. The upset judges later announced that the hearing will resume after Friday prayers.

Dawn News reported that Khan's lawyers had filed four additional requests which urged the IHC to club all the cases against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and to direct authorities to provide details of the cases registered against him.

Khan was arrested from the premises of the IHC on Tuesday in the Al-Qadir Trust case after the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) issued an arrest warrant against him.

His arrest by paramilitary Rangers sparked widespread protests across Pakistan, prompting the deployment of the Army in Islamabad, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces.

The IHC upheld his arrest but a three-member Supreme Court bench on Thursday declared his detention illegal and ordered his immediate release. The apex court directed police to keep him in the Supreme Court's protection and produce him before the high court at 11am.

On the protests, Dawn quoted Khan telling journalists at Court premises, “How could I have stopped whatever happened? I had already told [you] that there would be a reaction to the arrest. “When I was [taken into custody], then how can I be responsible?”

“The law of the jungle has been instated in the country. It seems as if martial law has been declared. When I reached the court yesterday, I found out for the first time that 40 helpless people have lost their lives in this. I did not even know about this,” Dawn quoted Khan as saying.

The Pakistan Supreme Court on Thursday termed the arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan by NAB in a money laundering case unlawful and ordered his immediate release. The SC bench, which heard Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman's plea against his arrest in the Al-Qadir Trust case, expressed anger at the way Khan was taken into custody from the premises of the Islamabad High Court. 

(With PTI inputs.)


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