Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Pakistan court defers indictment as Imran Khan apologizes in contempt of court case

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday deferred contempt proceedings against former prime minister chief Imran Khan after he said he was willing to apologize for his remarks against a female judge.

“If the court wants, I will go to the lady judge and apologize to her. I will never say anything that will hurt the feelings of the court or judiciary,” Khan told the court during a hearing on Thursday.

During the September 22 hearing, the former prime minister sought permission from the judges to put his statement on the record. “I am ready to apologize to the female judge,” he told the court.

“The court thinks that I have crossed a line. My intention was not to threaten the female judge. If the court says so, I am ready to personally go to the judge and apologize,” he offered. “I assure the court that I will not do something like this in the future,” he added. “I am sorry if I have crossed a red line.”

The IHC chief justice Athar Minallah remarked that it would not be “appropriate” to initiate contempt proceedings and adjourned the hearing in the case until October 3.

The chief justice maintained that the court is “not framing the charges” now.

However, the top high court judge pointed out there was a legal requirement to fulfill before accepting or rejecting Khan’s apology. “You may file an affidavit and we will consider it,” he said. Khan expressed his willingness to submit the affidavit.

PTI leaders Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Asad Umar and Shibli Faraz accompanied Khan at the court hearing.

Khan was charged with contempt of court following a speech he made at a public rally in Islamabad on August 20, where he threatened “action” against Judge Zeba Chaudhry and senior Islamabad police officials for arresting his top aide Shahbaz Gill over controversial remarks in a TV show.

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