The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has postponed the hearing regarding PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s plea against his Toshakhana case conviction until 11.30 pm tomorrow. This comes after lawyer Khawaja Haris departed from Imran Khan’s legal team, leading advocate Latif Khosa to represent the PTI leader. The hearing was conducted by a two-member IHC bench consisting of Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri.
Khosa contested the PTI chief’s conviction, highlighting several reasons. He argued that the trial court lacked the jurisdiction to deliberate on the Toshakhana case and that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) should have clarified the jurisdiction issue first. The core contention was that the complaint should be first directed to the magistrate rather than being directly heard by the session court. Furthermore, the PTI chief’s counsel pinpointed errors in the trial court’s decision, stating that Khan’s constitutional rights were infringed upon as he wasn’t permitted to present defense witnesses.
Earlier, the IHC had deferred the plea’s hearing, denying the Election Commission of Pakistan’s request for a fortnight to assemble the records. On August 5, Khan was sentenced to a three-year prison term due to corrupt practices related to the misdeclaration of state gifts, which might prevent him from participating in upcoming elections. Subsequently, PTI challenged this verdict in the IHC, labelling the judgment as “illegal.”
Supreme Court’s Stance
On a separate occasion, while considering a petition against the IHC’s decision to revert the case to the trial court judge, the Supreme Court pinpointed “procedural defects” in Khan’s conviction. However, it chose to await the IHC’s final decision.