A court in Islamabad has dropped contempt charges against former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s after he wrote an apology for comments he made against a judge in August.
Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Athar Minallah expressed satisfaction with the apology on Monday.
“Imran Khan demonstrated honesty and went to apologise to the judge,” he remarked, adding that discharging the contempt notice is the bench’s unanimous decision.
“Imran Khan extended his apology in honour and respect for the judiciary, and the court today reciprocated by discharging the case against him,” his defence lawyer, Faisal Chaudhry, said on Monday.
Following the court’s verdict, the PTI chief said that the court has taken a “great decision.”
Meanwhile, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz said that “fitna” has been forgiven.
“The contempt was committed and in front of the entire world. So instead of saying that the case has been dismissed, it would be more appropriate to say that fitna has been forgiven,” Maryam wrote on Twitter.
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Khan was charged with contempt of court following a speech he made at a public rally in Islamabad on August 20, during which he threatened “action” against Judge Zeba Chaudhry and senior Islamabad police officials for arresting his top aide Shahbaz Gill, whom he accused police of torturing in custody.
Gill was charged with attempting to incite a mutiny in Pakistan’s powerful military after remarks made on a TV show, an allegation Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party denies.
If Khan had been convicted, he could have been disqualified from running in the next election, which is scheduled for October next year.
Khan still has another case before the courts regarding the same comments in the August speech, for which he was granted bail on Sunday after an arrest warrant was issued a day before.
Khan’s government was toppled via a parliamentary vote of no confidence in April this year. He has alleged a U.S.-led foreign regime change conspiracy behind the removal of his government, which both U.S. and Pakistani officials have denied.