Former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan apologises in contempt of court case

ISLAMABAD: Former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan on Thursday (Sep 22) said sorry in a contempt of court case and promised not to hurt the dignity of the judiciary, the court said, a concession that could avoid his disqualification from politics.

The charges are related to a speech by Khan in which he allegedly threatened police and a female judge last month after one of his close aides was denied bail in a sedition case.

“He stated that he realised during the proceedings that he may have crossed a red line,” the court said in a short order seen by Reuters. Khan had previously denied being threatening.

The high court had been expected to indict Khan, a move that could have led to his exclusion from politics if convicted.

A convicted politician is liable to be disqualified for at least five years under Pakistani laws.

Local media present inside the courtroom quoted Khan, saying, “I’m sorry if I crossed any line.”

He assured he would never do anything in future that would hurt the dignity of the court or the judiciary, and he would willingly apologise to the female judge if she felt it necessary, the court order said.

“We are, prima facie, satisfied,” the order by a five-member court panel said, ordering Khan to submit an affidavit for consideration of the court before the next date of hearing, Oct 3.

The court deferred the decision on whether to indict Khan, said his lawyer, Faisal Chaudhry.

Chaudhry told Reuters he expected charges would now mostly be dropped.

“The court has appreciated the gesture,” he said. “We will prepare and submit in writing an unconditional apology as sought by the court.”

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