Pakistan court drops contempt charges against Imran Khan

High court accepts former's PM's apology over controversial comments

Pakistan's former prime minister Imran Khan leaves the Islamabad High Court in September after apologising for remarks that drew contempt charges. AFP
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The Islamabad High Court on Monday dropped contempt of court charges against former prime minister Imran Khan, his lawyer said.

“Imran Khan submitted his apology before court and the court discharged the contempt case, ending the proceedings against Mr Khan,” Faisal Chaudhry told The National.

The contempt case was opened in connection with his controversial speech against a judge and other officials at a public rally in August.

Mr Khan, who is chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, had reportedly warned judge Zeba Chaudhry and the judiciary of consequences over what he described as a “biased” attitude towards his party.

An arrest warrant was issued for Mr Khan on Saturday after his failure to attend a court hearing.

He was granted pre-arrest bail on Sunday.

Mr Khan issued an apology in the contempt case to prevent a possible conviction, which would have made him ineligible to contest elections for five years.

The cricketer-turned-politician has been facing a series of legal cases since his ousting in a confidence vote in April by a multiparty opposition led by his successor, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who is heading a coalition government.

Last month, the court ordered that terrorist charges stemming from the contempt case be dropped.

Mr Khan has been holding rallies across the country since he was ousted. He has demanded snap polls, which the ruling coalition has rejected, saying the elections will be held as scheduled later next year.

During recent public rallies, he said he would call for a march towards Islamabad to press the government into announcing early elections.

Updated: October 25, 2022, 8:10 AM