Pakistani court rejects former PM Imran Khan’s request to dismiss libel case against him

LAHORE: A Pakistani court on Friday rejected former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s request to dismiss a Rs 10 billion defamation lawsuit filed against him by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
The Court of Sessions ordered Prime Minister Sharif to present evidence against Khan at the next hearing on May 20. The case has been pending for six years.
In Friday’s proceedings, Khan’s lawyer argued that Sharif’s defamation suit was likely to be dismissed. The Prime Minister’s lawyer, however, opposed the request, arguing that the defendant only filed the request to ‘delay the prosecution proceedings and obstruct the court process’.
He said Khan had already lost his right to defend the lawsuit by an order issued by the trial court in November last year.
“The defendant had no right to file such requests to impede the prosecution’s trial process,” he said.
District and Additional Session Judge Muhammad Irfan Basra, after hearing arguments from both sides, observed that Khan’s claim was without merit and is therefore dismissed.
Sharif in 2017 filed a libel suit against Khan for accusing him of offering the latter Rs 10 billion through a mutual friend in exchange for the withdrawal of the Panama Papers case of the Supreme Court.
Sharif demanded a decree to recover Rs 10 billion as compensation to Khan for posting defamatory content.


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