Lahore: Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan appeared before the Lahore High Court Tuesday which confirmed his pre-arrest bail in connection with the murder of a worker of his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party.
In March, the Punjab Police booked Khan, 70, also the chief of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, in the murder case, accusing him of “concealing facts and evidence” about the death of Ali Bilal alias Zille Shah, a party worker.
Khan appeared before the high court amid high security.
“Lahore High Court Judge Anwarul Haq Pannun confirmed Khan’s pre-arrest bail in the murder case of Ali Bilal alias Zille Shah, a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf worker, after hearing arguments from his (Khan) counsel,” a court official told PTI after the hearing.
Khan’s counsel told the court that Zille Shah was tortured to death in police custody as the post-mortem report showed 26 injury marks on his body. However, the police booked Khan and some other PTI members for the murder although the police and the caretaker government in Punjab later claimed that he was killed in a road accident.
The police later accused Khan of concealing the “facts and evidence” related to his death, the PTI chief’s counsel said in court.
“After hearing arguments from both sides, the judge confirmed Khan’s bail,” the official said.
Khan is facing over 100 cases, mostly related to terrorism, inciting the public to violence, arson attacks, blasphemy, attempted murder, corruption, and fraud.
The Pakistan government, backed by the powerful military establishment, last week stopped the country’s media from publishing or broadcasting speeches, statements, tweets or pictures of Khan.
The step was taken after PTI’s alleged involvement in attacks on military installations on May 9 in reaction to Khan’s arrest in a corruption case.
The government said it is making sure that the PTI chief’s social media activities are also blocked.
According to a government official, both print and electronic media have been directed not to publish or broadcast Khan’s speeches, statements, tweets or display his pictures.