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Pakistani court seeks ‘government response’ over Imran Khan’s appeal

ISLAMABAD (AP) – A top Pakistani court yesterday said it wanted to hear from the government before deciding over former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s appeal against his imprisonment on corruption charges.

Khan was arrested at his Lahore home on Saturday and given a three-year jail sentence on charges of concealing assets. He is held at the high-security prison Attock in the eastern Punjab province while his legal team seeks his release.

His appeal hearing is underway, but the Islamabad High Court gave Khan no immediate relief and he remains behind bars.

The court said it seeks “government response” and would hear from the Election Commission of Pakistan’s lawyers before deciding on Khan’s appeal. The commission last year disqualified Khan from holding public office for five years accusing him of unlawfully selling state gifts and concealing assets as premier. Khan was notified of his disqualification again on Tuesday following his sentencing.

The court adjourned without setting a date for the following hearing, dealing a blow to Khan’s legal team.

Khan met only once with one of his lawyers, Naeem Haider Panjutha, since his arrest, who was present with him in court yesterday.

Panjutha asked for the former premier’s release, saying that Khan did not violate any laws and his arrest was illegal.