Pakistan court drops murder abetment charges against Imran Khan

A Pakistani court dismissed murder abetment charges against former Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday, his lawyer said, providing some relief for the cricket hero turned politician who was jailed on corruption charges earlier this month.

Khan had been charged in June with abetting the murder of Supreme Court lawyer Abdul Razzaq, who was killed in a drive-by shooting in the southwestern city of Quetta in the same month. Razzaq’s son had accused Khan of being behind his father’s murder.

“God be praised,” Khan’s lawyer Naeem Panjutha said in a post on X, the messaging platform formerly known as Twitter, celebrating the dismissal of the case.

A government prosecutor wasn’t immediately available to comment on the ruling.

Before his assassination, Razzaq had filed a court petition, pleading that treason proceedings could be initiated against Khan for unconstitutionally dissolving parliament after he lost a vote of confidence in April, 2022.

Khan lost power after falling out with Pakistan’s influential military, and multiple case have been brought against him while he tried to rally popular support.

The political turmoil has caught Pakistan while the country has been 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.

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. (Reuters)

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