Court reserves verdict on Imran Khan’s exemption plea in Toshakhana case

A district and sessions court in Islamabad reserved on Monday its verdict on a petition filed by PTI Chairman Imran Khan seeking an exemption from appearing before the court in the Toshakhana reference.
The verdict is expected to be announced by Additional District and Sessions Judge Zafar Iqbal at 3:15pm.
The 70-year-old ex-premier, who has been recovering from a gunshot injury from an assassination attempt in Wazirabad last year, has thrice skipped indictment hearings in an Islamabad sessions court in the case.
He is accused of concealing, in his assets declarations, details of the gifts he retained from the Toshakhana — a repository where presents handed to government officials from foreign officials are kept.
The sessions court was set to indict Imran in the Toshakhana Reference on Feb 28, but his lawyer had requested the judge that he be exempted from the hearing because he had to appear in several other courts. His indictment was deferred twice before.
The judge had then issued arrest warrants for Imran and adjourned the hearing till March 7.
On March 5, an Islamabad police team was sent to Lahore to arrest Imran with the court summons. However, it returned empty-handed after the PTI chief evaded the arrest.
Subsequently, Imran had approached the Islamabad High Court last week seeking the cancellation of his arrest warrants.
On March 7, the IHC had suspended Imran’s non-bailable arrest warrants till March 13 and instructed him to appear before the sessions court.