Imran, others acquitted in May 9 riots, Azadi March cases

ISLAMABAD   -   A local district and sessions court yesterday acquitted PTI founder Imran Khan in two cases pertaining to the May 9 riots and vandalism during the party’s Azaadi March in 2022. A case against the former premier over the May 9 violence was registered at the Khanna Police Station. The verdict stated that no evidence against the PTI founder came to the record and ruled that evidence available was not sufficient to prove the allegations.

The verdict added that the court cannot proceed with the case against Imran on such a ‘vague’ record and an accused cannot be deprived of his legal right without any reason.

“The case on behalf of the prosecution is not based on solid evidence, Imran has not been proven guilty even if the prosecution records the existing evidence,” the court ruled.

“Considering the facts, the prosecution’s arguments have become highly suspicious.”

Imran and other party leaders including Faisal Javed, Ali Nawaz Awan, Saifullah Niazi, Zartaj Gul, Asad Umar, Murad Saeed, Qasim Suri and Ali Muhammad Khan were also acquitted in a vandalism case registered against PTI’s Haqeeqi Azaadi March in 2022.

Judicial Magistrate Mureed Abbas Khan announced the verdict reserved during the last hearing.

PTI counsel Advocate Naeem Panjotha argued that the use of clause 109 against the PTI founder was false, stating the case was based on a bogus FIR and could not proceed. He added that the authority to register the case rested only with the person who imposed Section 144.

He highlighted the absence of video evidence implicating Imran and other party leaders and said “Imran has been acquitted in similar cases before, if the allegations made are baseless, the court can acquit the accused”. Panjotha portrayed the cases as politically motivated, emphasizing the peaceful nature of the protests. “The trees caught fire due to police shelling and none of the workers was involved in it.

The court, following the arguments by the PTI lawyer, announced the verdict in favour of the former premier and his party leaders.

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