Additional sessions judge Zafar Iqbal announced the verdict, reserved earlier in the day, after hearing arguments on an application filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief seeking the cancellation of his warrants.
The same court had last week issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Imran after he decided not to turn up before the court while attending hearings of three other cases — prohibited funding, terrorism, and attempted murder — filed against him in other local courts located in the same judicial complex.
Now on 76th case against me. Well on my way to a century of cases, with the latest case of treason filed against me… https://t.co/JezlsnQ6hN
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) 1678115483000
On Sunday, Islamabad police went to his Lahore residence to arrest him but the PTI chairman had evaded arrest and later addressed his supporters, lashing out at the current coalition government for its incompetence and targeting army ex-chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa for his ouster from office last year.
His speech had prompted Pakistan’s media regulator to ban television channels from broadcasting his speeches and news conferences. The authorities accused Imran of attacking the state’s institutions and promoting hatred.
Imran has thrice skipped indictment hearings in an Islamabad sessions court in the case. The allegation against Imran is that he had not shared details of the gifts he retained from the Toshaskhana and proceeds from their reported sales. A reference was filed by lawmakers from the ruling coalition last year in this regard with the speaker of the National Assembly, who sent it to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
The electoral watchdog had concluded in October last year that Imran had made “false statements and incorrect declarations” regarding the gifts he had purchased from the Toshakhana and disqualified him for being “dishonest and corrupt”.
Subsequently, the watchdog had approached court seeking proceedings against Imran under criminal law for allegedly misleading officials about the gifts he had received from foreign dignitaries during his tenure as PM.
‘PM Sharif, ISI boss tried to kill me’, says Ex-Pakistan PM Imran Khan