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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

First glimpse of Imran Khan as he appears before Supreme Court via video link

Despite Khan's desire to appear in person, the court has allowed him to defend himself via video link. This marks Khan's first public appearance in nearly 10 months.

Adiala jail authorities have reportedly arranged for former Prime Minister Imran Khan to appear via video connection before the Supreme Court bench handling the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) amendments case, according to sources from the prison. Khan, who is currently incarcerated, appeared through video link at 11:30 am today. The arrangements were checked by both jail officials and Supreme Court staff prior to Khan’s scheduled appearance.

This move comes after the Supreme Court’s order directing the federal and Punjab governments to facilitate a video link facility for Khan’s participation in court proceedings. Khan’s lawyers, Khawaja Haris and Intezar Panjutha, had a brief meeting with him in jail following this directive.

Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa had stated that Khan could present his arguments via video link if he so desired, during the hearing of the federal government’s intra-court appeal against the SC’s 2023 verdict on NAB amendments.

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Despite Khan’s desire to appear in person, the court has allowed him to defend himself via video link. This marks Khan’s first public appearance in nearly 10 months.

The Adiala jail authorities have confirmed that Khan’s video link appearance has been arranged in compliance with the apex court’s orders. However, Khan retains the freedom to decide whether to appear before the bench or not. The authorities assure that Khan’s virtual presence in court will be ensured.

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In a significant previous ruling, a three-member bench of the SC had upheld Khan’s petition challenging amendments to the country’s accountability laws, leading to the restoration of graft cases against public office holders that were closed down due to these amendments.