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ATC warns Imran of arrest warrants over no-show on May 4

ISLAMABAD: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Wednesday granted one-day exemption to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan from personal appearance in a case pertaining to manhandling of then SSP Islamabad (Operations) Asmatullah Junejo during the 2014 sit-in in Islamabad.

ATC Judge Shahrukh Arjumand warned that if the PTI chief fails to appear on next hearing, it will issue warrants for his arrest.

He also deferred the verdict on a plea of Imran seeking acquittal in the case for want of evidence.

The judge had reserved the verdict earlier on April 10 after hearing arguments from the prosecution and defence lawyers.

The PTI chief filed an application under section 265-K of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), requesting the court to acquit him in the case for want of evidence.

Babar Awan, who represented him, extended arguments in the case, stating that the PTI chief was not named in the case by witnesses who saw Junejo being beaten up by a mob during 2014 sit-ins in Islamabad.

In a lighter vein, he said his client’s name is Khan and he is not a terrorist.

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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