An Islamabad district and sessions court on Tuesday deferred, for a second time, the indictment of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan in the Toshakhana reference, as the judge remarked that if these delays continued, the trial would continue indefinitely.
Instructing Khan to appear before the court in person on Feb. 28, Additional District and Sessions Judge Zafar Iqbal also asked the PTI chief’s lawyer to provide a medico-legal certificate of his client so the court could ascertain the extent of his injuries. The lawyer for the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) likewise said an order should be passed to form a medical board for Khan.
During the hearing, copies of the case records were distributed among the lawyers, with the judge noting that law required these to be given to the accused in their presence. “Imran Khan was summoned today for the same reason,” he said, as he adjourned the hearing until Feb. 28 after instructing Khan’s lawyer to ensure the PTI chief’s presence at the next proceedings.
On Jan. 31, the district and sessions court had announced that charges against the PTI chief would be framed on Feb. 7. However, in that hearing, Khan’s lawyers had filed an exemption plea, citing medical grounds, delaying the indictment till the next hearing on Feb. 21 (today).
According to the reference, Khan—while prime minister—failed to declare details of the gifts he retained from the Toshaskhana as well as proceeds from their reported sales. On Oct. 21, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had concluded that the former prime minister had made “false statements and incorrect declarations” regarding the gifts. Declaring Khan disqualified under Article 63(1)(p) of the Constitution, the ECP had approached the Islamabad sessions court to seek criminal proceedings against the PTI chief.