Pakistan's jailed former premier indicted for 'contempt for election body'

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Pakistan's jailed former premier indicted for 'contempt for election body'
The Pakistani Election Commission indicted on Wednesday former Prime Minister Imran Khan and former Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry for contempt of the election body and Chief Election Commission.
A four-member bench of the electoral body, headed by Nisar Ahmad Durrani, a member from Sindh province, conducted a hearing in Adiala Prison in Rawalpindi.
"The Election Commission indicted Imran Khan in the absence of lawyers. No one has seen such an election commission in the history of Pakistan," said Khan's lawyer Naeem Haider Panjutha.
Khan and Chaudhry denied the allegations and the case has been adjourned until Jan. 16.
In 2022, election authorities issued notices to Khan and his close aides for contempt of the body after they accused Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja and the electoral body of being a subsidiary of the former ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party.
Khan, the former cricket star, who is currently incarcerated in Adiala Prison, was arrested in August and many cases against him have been tried in prison.
The Election Commission which is holding general elections Feb. 8, also declared Khan's party null and void and withdrew the election symbol from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) last month.
But the Peshawar High Court later suspended the Election Commission’s decision and ordered it to restore the PTI election symbol "bat."
On Wednesday, the Peshawar High Court again reversed an earlier order and restored the ECP decision to withdraw the "bat" symbol from PTI.
Last week, PTI accused the Election Commission’s returning officers, who are conducting the elections, of rejecting 90% of the nomination papers of the party's candidates, including Khan.

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