Pakistani court orders immediate release of former prime minister

ISLAMABAD, May 11 (Xinhua) — The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday evening ordered police to immediately release former Prime Minister Imran Khan who was arrested on May 9 on the charges of corruption and corrupt practices.

The verdict was given on a plea of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party saying the arrest was illegal as it was made at the premises of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) when Khan was seeking protective bail. The three-member bench of the supreme court, headed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, ordered the immediate release of the PTI chairman, and said he could reapply for protective bail on Friday. 

The court directed the Islamabad Police to keep Khan in a guest house at police headquarters until then. The court also directed the police to let the former prime minister meet with his family members, lawyers and friends during his stay in the guest house.

Khan was arrested in Islamabad on May 9, which immediately sparked rallies from his supporters. He is being accused of corruption and using his foundation and spouse to launder money. The former prime minister is suspected of receiving “billions of rupees” from an unnamed real estate company for legalizing 50 bln rupees (about $175.5 mln) wired from the UK when Khan was the head of government.

The total death toll in the protests in Pakistan that erupted this week after the arrest of opposition leader Imran Khan has grown to 10 and 1,750 have been injured, according to sources from the country’s health and interior ministries.They said there were only civilians among the dead, and “both civilians and police officers are listed” among those injured.



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