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Imran Khan gets exemption from personal appearance in sit-in cases

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Monday appeared before an anti-terrorism court in Islamabad for the hearing of four cases pertaining to the 2014 sit-in.

Judge Shahrukh Arjumand granted a request by the PTI chief for exemption from personal attendance and adjourned the hearing till March 13.

The cases filed against him and other PTI leaders under anti-terrorism law related to the attack on the state buildings and then SSP Islamabad (Operations) Asmatullah Junejo during the 2014 sit-in in the federal capital.

Khan’s lawyer Advocate Shahid Naseem Gondal filed two pleas in the court on his behalf seeking acquittal and exemption from personal appearance in the cases.

During the previous hearing, Judge Shahrukh Arjumand directed the defence lawyer to provide copies of the applications to the prosecution.

The lawyer requested the court to announce its decision on his client’s acquittal plea before the charges are framed against him.

The judge observed that a notice would be issued to the prosecution to submit its response to the request.

Police had booked Imran Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri along with their supporters in a number of cases during the 2014 sit-in calling for the resignation of the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

In a case, 70 people were booked after a mob of protesters belonging to the PTI and PAT stormed PTV headquarters and forced its staff to take two of the state broadcaster’s flagship channels — PTV News and PTV World — off the air on Sept 1, 2014.

The protesters were also charged with attacking government properties including the Parliament House building.

Another case related to the attack on then-Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Operations Asmatullah Junejo during the sit-in.

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