Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan charged with ‘criminal conspiracy’ in May 9 violence

PTI | | Posted by Lingamgunta Nirmitha Rao
Sep 21, 2023 10:07 AM IST

Nationwide protests erupted in Pakistan after PTI chairman Imran Khan's arrest by paramilitary Rangers on May 9 in a corruption case.

Pakistan's ousted prime minister Pakistan Imran Khan has been charged with "criminal conspiracy", which carries a maximum sentence of the death penalty, for "masterminding" the attack on army installations and inciting the people to mutiny, a senior Punjab Police official said on Wednesday.

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan(AFP)
Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan(AFP)

Pakistan saw massive nationwide anti-government protests following the arrest of Khan, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman, by paramilitary Rangers in a corruption case on May 9. Khan, 70, was later released on bail.

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Dozens of military installations and government buildings, including the military headquarters in Rawalpindi, were damaged or torched during the riots. Over 100 vehicles of police and other security agencies were set on fire.

Khan and hundreds of PTI leaders and workers are accused of attacking Lahore Corps Commander House and Askari Tower in the city on May 9.

Addressing a press conference here, Lahore police senior investigation officer Anoosh Masood said Khan and other PTI leaders and workers have been charged with "criminal conspiracy" for inciting supporters to attack military and state installations on May 9.

Police carried out a thorough investigation into the May 9 events in Lahore and found the PTI chief "masterminding" the attacks on military installations and inciting people to violence, she said.

“Besides section 120-B, Khan and others will face nine others offences regarding giving provocation with intent to cause riot, abetting mutiny and attempting to wage a war against Pakistan. A challan of the case has been prepared by the police investigators and prosecutors and will be submitted to the Anti-Terrorism Court Lahore,” Masood said.

Khan has been in Attock Jail in Punjab province since August 5, 2023. He was arrested in the Toshakhana (gifts) case and subsequently handed down a three-year imprisonment. He was later granted bail in the case after the higher court suspended the verdict. However, he was re-arrested in the cipher case under the Official Secrets Act.

Khan has approached the Islamabad High Court (IHC), seeking post-arrest bail in the cipher case.

The cipher case pertains to a diplomatic document which reportedly went missing from Khan's possession. The PTI party chief alleges that it contained a threat from the United States to oust him from power.

Khan and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi have been attending hearings in the case, while PTI leader Asad Umar’s and former principal secretary Azam Khan’s involvement are supposed to be determined during the course of the investigation.

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