Pak court adjourns till Jun 17 hearing in defamation case against Imran Khan

M Zulqernain

Lahore, Jun 10 (PTI) A Pakistani court on Wednesday adjourned till June 17 the hearing of a defamation case filed against Prime Minister Imran Khan by PML-N chief Shahbaz Sharif.

The suit is pending for three years.

Khan in April 2017 alleged that Shahbaz offered him USD 61 million through a common friend to withdraw the Panama Papers case in the Supreme Court against his brother Nawaz Sharif, a former prime minister.

Sharif, 70, who is currently in London for treatment, is the supremo of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). He was disqualified as prime minister in 2017 by the Supreme Court in 2017 in the Panama Papers case.

Three corruption cases - Avenfield properties, Flagship investment and Al-Azizia steel mills - were registered against the Sharif family by the anti-graft body in 2017 following the Supreme Court judgment that disqualified Nawaz Sharif.

However, Khan did not name the person who offered him USD 61 million on behalf of the Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz.

In the last hearing on Friday, Lahore's Additional District and Sessions Court Judge Sohail Anjum sought a reply from the prime minister.

In the last hearing, the petitioner’s counsel had raised objection on Babar Awab being Khan’s lawyer. Under the law, Awan cannot defend Khan since he has become his adviser.

On Wednesday, Advocate Masooq Chishti told the court that Khan has changed his lawyer.

Chishti, who is Khan's new lawyer in the case, said the premier’s reply would be submitted in the court in the next hearing. The court adjourned the proceedings till June 17.

In his petition, Shahbaz requested the court to issue a decree for the recovery of USD 61 million as compensation for causing great damage to his reputation in the public. PTI MZ NSA