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ATC refuses to exempt Imran Khan from personal appearance in 2014 sit-in cases

ISLAMABAD: An anti-terrorism court here on Friday turned down a plea filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan seeking exemption from personal appearance in cases 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 through his lawyer Advocate Shahid Naseem Gondal had submitted two pleas in the court in previous hearing on February 15.

In the last hearing, the PTI chief appeared before the court and filed two pleas through his lawyer, seeking acquittal and exemption from personal appearance in the cases.

Judge Shahrukh Arjumand then asked the defence lawyer to provide copies of the requests to the prosecution.

The lawyer pleaded with the judge to announce a decision pertaining to his client’s acquittal before the charges framed against him.

The judge then remarked that a notice to the prosecution would be issued to prepare the arguments over the request.

He directed the PTI chairman to ensure his appearance during the court proceedings until a decision on his plea seeking an exemption from personal appearance announced.

The court then adjourned the hearing till February 26.

Cases against political cousins

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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