Banking court orders Imran Khan to appear before IO in prohibited funding case

Islamabad: A banking court of the federal capital on Thursday directed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan to ensure his presence before the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) investigation officer (IO) in the prohibited funding case being pursued against his party. The court gave this direction while announcing its reserved verdict on Imran Khan’s plea seeking an extension in his pre-arrest bail in the foreign funding case.

When the hearing commenced, Special Prosecutor Raja Rizwan Abbasi pleaded the court to reject Imran Khan’s plea seeking extension in the pre-arrest bail. Imran Khan’s lawyer, however, requested the court to extend for two weeks on medical grounds the bail of his client. He also sought Imran Khan’s exemption from personal appearance before the court for today’s (Thursday’s) hearing. Raja Rizwan Abbasi, however, stated that Imran Khan has been politically active since the assassination bid on his life during his party’s long march rally in Wazirabad in November last year.

Requesting the court to reject Imran Khan’s plea for extension in the bail, the Prosecutor stated that Mr. Khan is running his day-to-day political affairs, however, does not appear before the court deliberately. He said Mr. Khan did not join the probe yet. Imran Khan’s lawyer stated that his client was injured in an assassination bid and he would appear before IO as soon as the doctors allow him. The Prosecutor then stated that Mr. Khan appeared on TV but not in the courts.

Meanwhile, the banking court judge Rakhshanda Shaheen rejected a request of Imran Khan’s counsel to interrogate Mr. Khan at his Zaman Park residence in Lahore. The court noted that the IO can hold investigations from Mr. Khan and the court will not interfere into it. The court also directed Imran Khan to join the probe and ensure his presence before the IO under any circumstances. Later, the court adjourned the hearing till January 31. In the bail plea, Imran Khan’s counsels had requested the court to stop the FIA from arresting Imran Khan in the case pertaining to financial irregularities in the party’s funding.