PML-N leader approaches IHC for right to cross-examine PM in defamation suit

PML-N leader Khawaja Asif on Tuesday challenged the sessions court’s decision of not giving his counsel a right to present arguments in a defamation suit worth Rs10 billion filed by Prime Minister Imran Khan against him

The prime minister last month submitted an affidavit to Additional District and Sessions Judge Muhammad Adnan via video link against the PML-N leader for levelling allegations of non-transparency, money laundering and use of anonymous companies in the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust (SKMT) funds

The premier, in the document, informed the court that on August 1, 2012, Asif, while addressing a news conference held at the Punjab House, had alleged that PM Imran had indulged in money laundering or had approved the commission of the practice through the SKMT

Later on the same evening at a private TV programme, he repeated the allegations

The PML-N leader today filed an application in Islamabad High Court (IHC) against the lower court’s verdict and nominated PM Imran and the sessions court judge as respondents

Also read: PM attends court via video link to snub Asif’s claims Asif has pleaded in the application that PM Imran’s statement was recorded by the additional district and sessions judge via video link in the absence of his lawyer

The PML-N lawmaker maintained that his counsel had informed the sessions court that he could not appear on December 17 due to ill-health and the sessions court announced the verdict in haste without referring to any law

He prayed the IHC to annul the decision of lower court of terminating his right to cross-examination

The PML-N’s leader application further said that statements of five prosecution witnesses were recorded between April 1 and May 25, 2021

Asif said he sought time from the court to produce witnesses in his defence as he remained in National Accountability Bureau (NAB) custody till June 23, 2021 from Dec 29, 2020

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah will conduct the hearing on the application tomorrow (Tuesday)

Date:04-Jan-2022 Reference:View Original Link