IHC hears Imran's bail plea in prohibited funding case

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) commenced hearing Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairperson Imran Khan's petition on Wednesday after he filed for protective bail to avoid arrest after the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) booked him and the party’s financial team in a prohibited funding case.

The case is being heard by IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah, who asked Imran's lawyer Salman Safdar which court the prohibited funding case should go before.

The lawyer maintained that two of the co-accused had approached the banking court for bail, however, both the banking court and Special Judge Central Courts declined to hear the case.

The chief justice then questioned where Imran Khan was and why was he absent from court.

The former premier's lawyer said that if the court ordered it, Imran would appear in the courtroom immediately. He added that Imran was absent due to extraordinary circumstances and that his residence in Bani Gala was surrounded by the police.

The IHC stated that Imran Khan should not be arrested until he appears before the court and further stopped the administration from harassing him.

Chief Justice Minallah directed that the petitioner should appear in court by 3 pm, to which Imran's lawyer said 3 pm would be "late" and that the PTI chief will arrive in half an hour.

The petition

The PTI chief approached the Islamabad High Court (IHC) with a bail petition earlier today to avoid arrest after the FIA booked him and the party’s financial team in a prohibited funding case.

The petition, submitted by Imran’s lawyer Salman Safdar, stated that the FIA ​​registered a case under the Foreign Exchange Act and that the court should grant protective bail so that Imran could appear in court.

Read Imran hints at moving court over audio leaks

The lawyer requested the IHC for a hearing on the application today.

The Assistant Registrar IHC Asad Khan raised three objections on Imran's protective bail application, stating that the PTI chief did not undergo biometrics, and an uncertified copy of the first informant report (FIR) was attached to the petition.

He further questioned how they could approach the high court before going to the relevant special court.

PTI leaders booked

The FIA on Tuesday booked PTI leaders including its chairman Imran Khan, the party’s financial team and a manager of a private bank in a prohibited funding case.

According to Express News, the case was lodged by FIA Commercial Banking Circle Islamabad.

Besides Imran, PTI leaders Senator Saifullah Niazi, Sardar Tariq, Syed Younis, Aamir Kayani, Tariq Shafi and members of the party’s financial team and manager of a private bank have been nominated in the case.

FIA sources have confirmed the development, saying that the investigation into the case is underway.

According to an FIR, the former ruling party leaders have violated the Foreign Exchange Act and they were declared as the beneficiaries of suspicious bank accounts.

The FIA claimed that Abraaj Group also transferred $2.1 million to the bank accounts of the PTI.

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