Pakistan court extends Imran Khan's bail on terrorism charges

FILE PHOTO: Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is facing terrorism charges, appears in court to extend pre-arrest bail, in Islamabad, Pakistan August 25, 2022. REUTERS/Waseem Khan/File Photo

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A Pakistani court on Monday extended former Prime Minister Imran Khan's pre-arrest bail for eight more days on terrorism charges relating to a speech in which he allegedly threatened police and judicial officers, his lawyer said.

Khan, who appeared in court in person, was booked in the case by police in August. This is the fourth time he has secured pre-arrest bail in the matter.

"Bail is extended till 20th September with the same sureties," Khan's lawyer, Babar Awan, told Reuters.

Khan has denied he threatened the officials, saying his words were taken out of context.

"This amounts to making a mockery of the anti-terrorism law; making a mockery of our country," he told journalists outside the court on Monday after he secured his bail.

The terrorism case is one of a spate of legal woes for Khan, who was ousted as prime minister by a parliamentary vote in April.

The court said last week it would indict Khan in a contempt of court case in coming days in a matter that poses a threat to his future as it could see him disqualified from politics for at least five years.

Khan, who still enjoys widespread support, has been holding political gatherings across the country to pressure the government into holding snap elections. Officially, general elections are not due until November next year.

The government says the polls will take place on time and has rejected Khan's call for early elections.

It is at one of these rallies that Khan thundered against police and judicial officials. He has also targeted the top brass of the country's military, which issued a rare direct public rebuke of Khan for his statements earlier this month.

(Reporting by Gibran Peshimam; editing by Philippa Fletcher)

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