A Pakistani court on Monday dismissed murder charges against former Prime Minister Imran Khan, his lawyer said.A Pakistani court on Monday quashed a sedition case against ex-cricketer Imran Khan on Monday, providing some relief for the former prime minister who was jailed on corruption charges earlier this month.
The case against Khan, 70, had been registered in March in the southwestern city of Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province, based on an allegation that one of his speeches was seditious.
Following an appeal by Khan, the Balochistan High Court said prosecutors had failed to obtain the required consent from the federal or provincial government to lodge sedition charges.
The charges are “without lawful authority and are of no legal effect,” the court ruled, throwing out the case.
“God be praised,” Khan’s lawyer Naeem Panjutha said in a jubilant post on social media.
The sedition case was among dozens of cases brought against Khan since he lost power after being defeated in a parliamentary confidence vote in April, 2022.
Later on Monday, a high court in Islamabad is expected to rule on Khan’s appeal to suspend his conviction and three-year jail sentence for corruption.
Khan lost power after falling out with Pakistan’s influential military, and his attempts to rally popular support have stirred political turmoil in a country already struggling through one of its worst economic crises.
A general election was expected in November, though it is likely to be delayed until at least early next year.
Khan cannot contest and has been barred from holding political office for five years.
Aside from the graft and sedition cases, Khan is also facing charges ranging from terrorism and encouraging assaults on state institutions - after his supporters attacked military and government installations in May - as well as abetment to murder following the slaying of a Supreme Court lawyer in June.
Lawyer Abdul Razzaq had been seeking to lodge charges of treason against Khan in the Balochistan High Court for unlawfully dissolving parliament after his ouster last year.
After Razzaq was slain in a drive-by shooting in Quetta, his son accused Khan of ordering the attack on his father. Khan has denied any involvement.
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