ECP may hold Imran’s contempt trial in jail

Commission mentions interior ministry’s report citing security concerns

Our Correspondent December 01, 2023


A tribunal of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday gave the indication that PTI chairman and deposed premier Imran Khan’s trial in a contempt case could take place inside Adiala Jail – where he is currently detained – mentioning the findings of an interior ministry report that cited security concerns.

During the hearing, ECP Sindh member Nasir Durrani told the PTI chief’s lawyer Shoaib Shaheen that the interior ministry had submitted a report, which read that Imran could not be presented before any court or tribunal.

He added that the ministry had suggested that the ECP should send a team to the prison to frame charges against the former premier.

However, Durrani continued that the commission had yet to decide the matter.

The PTI chairman’s lawyer told the tribunal he had not been provided with a copy of the last hearing’s order.

He continued that he had also not been provided with a copy of the interior ministry’s report despite the submission of an application.

He asked the tribunal to provide him with a copy of the ministry’s report if it was a “routine” one.

The ECP Sindh member assured the lawyer that he would be provided with a copy of the ministry’s report. He added that the report proposed that the ECP should visit the jail to indict the PTI chief.

Shaheen replied that the jail trial of a leader of a popular political party would create a negative impression among the people.

Durrani told him not to worry about these matters and let the commission perform its duty in accordance with the law.

He added that the PTI’s legal team wants to push the case forward but at the same time, not cooperating with the ECP tribunal.

The PTI chief’s lawyer claimed that his client was deliberately not being presented before the tribunal.

ECP Balochistan member Shah Muhammad Jatoi told him that the PTI was intentionally not producing its chief before the ECP earlier.

He added that why should the ECP risk summoning Imran before the tribunal.

Jatoi maintained that the commission would focus on the law and not the accused.

Asad Umar also appeared before the ECP tribunal in the same case. To the tribunal’s query, Umar replied that he had appeared before the ECP the most.

Umar also told the ECP tribunal that he had quit politics. An ECP member told him that he could continue politics.

The former PTI leader said he was grateful to the ECP member but repeated that he had quit politics.

Later, Umar submitted his written response to the commission.

Former PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry did not appear before the tribunal.

Subsequently, the tribunal adjourned the hearing of the case till December 6.

Talking to the media after the proceedings, Shaheen complained that the PTI had not been provided with a copy of the interior ministry’s report.

He also raised questions about the transparency and fairness of the next general elections.

The PTI chief’s lawyer accused the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) of facilitating PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif.

The proceedings of the PTI chief’s trial in the Toshakhana, cipher, and £190 million settlement case are already taking place inside the premises of Adiala Jail because of security concerns.

The ECP had initiated contempt proceedings against Imran, Umar and Fawad last year for issuing statements against the electoral body and the chief election commissioner.


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