Court accepts Imran’s exemption plea in Toshakhana reference

An additional sessions court in Islamabad accepted Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief and former prime minister Imran Khan’s request for exemption from appearing before the court in the Toshakhana (gift depository) reference.
District and Sessions Judge Zafar Iqbal had summoned the former premier in his personal capacity, however, Khan filed a request for exemption from attendance based on an ongoing 3-day strike in the Islamabad bar.
Imran Khan’s lawyer filed a request to exempt him from attending the proceedings today, citing the ongoing strike.
On this, prosecutor Amjad Parvez commented that even if Imran’s lawyer is involved in the protest, it would be necessary for him to ensure his presence in court during the trial.
Khawaja Harris, the lawyer representing the former premier, responded by stating that his client was absent from the court due to security concerns as the government had withdrawn his security amid threats.
He then suggested that PTI chairman could attend the hearing via video link, if permitted.
Mr. Harris requested that the court accept the plea for exemption. During today’s hearing, Mr. Pervez proposed that if the Thursday hearing was not feasible, it should be rescheduled for Saturday, which would be a 10-day delay.
The judge asked both parties to assist the court in scheduling the next hearing through mutual consultation.
At this, Imran’s counsel requested a two-week adjournment of the hearing, while advocate Faisal Chaudhry proposed that the hearing be scheduled after Ramadan.
Eventually, Judge Zafar Iqbal granted the exemption plea and postponed the hearing until April 29.