A Pakistani court dismissed contempt proceedings against the head of PTI after he said he was ready to apologize to the female judge.
Islamabad, Pakistan – A court in Pakistan adjourned contempt procedure against former Prime Minister Imran Khan after he said he was ready to apologize for his remarks to a female judge.
“If the court wants to, I will go to the judge and apologize to her. I will never say anything that hurts the feelings of the court or the judiciary,” Khan told Islamabad High Court during Thursday’s hearing.
“I assure the court that I will not do anything like this in the future,” he said. “I’m sorry if I’ve crossed a red line.”
Khan was charged with contempt of court following a speech he gave at a public rally in the capital Islamabad on August 20, where he threatened to “take action” against Judge Zeba Chaudhry and Islamabad’s senior police officials for the arrest of his top aide Shahbaz Gill.
Following remarks made on a television show, Gill was accused of trying to incite a mutiny within Pakistan’s powerful army, an allegation that Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party negate.
If convicted, Khan risks being disqualified from holding public office for at least five years, under Pakistani law.
Following Khan’s apology, the court decided not to prosecute the ticket-turned-icon politician, asking him to file his statement in an affidavit ahead of his next hearing on October 3. .
Earlier this week, the same court also drop terrorism charges against the 69-year-old politician for his remarks during the Islamabad protests.
Khan’s government was removed through a parliamentary vote of no confidence in April this year.
Since then, he has held public rallies around the country, demanding new elections that would otherwise take place by the end of next year.
“Today, he (Khan) was much more direct than his submitted replies, which seems to have pleased the bench,” said lawyer Munir A Malik, an amicus curiae (court assistant) in the case, told Al Jazeera.
PTI leader Faisal Javed Khan said Khan has always talked about the supremacy of the law and the judiciary.
“Imran Khan’s stance since day one has remained the same. The court’s decision will hopefully benefit him,” he told Al Jazeera.