On Tuesday, the Lahore High Court (LHC) effectively halted the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) notice to summon Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan as part of the agency’s investigation into audio leaks relating to the cypher carrying a supposed threat from the United States.
Justice Asjad Javed Ghural earlier ordered the court office to schedule a hearing on Khan’s appeal challenging the FIA’s ability to call the PTI head after the Registrar’s Office withdrew its opposition to the LHC’s jurisdiction.
Khan’s attorney, Salman Safdar, claimed before the court that the FIA’s notification failed to specify whether the petitioner had been called as a witness or a suspect.
Justice Ghural demanded to know, “Has it been probed as to how the audio got released in the first place?” Advocate Safdar told the judge, “This is currently unknown.” The judge ruled that an inquiry into the occurrence was necessary.
The counsel said the Supreme Court was now considering Khan’s plea in this matter. As for Justice Ghural, he wanted to know, “Has everyone been included in the audio leaks case probe or is it only Imran Khan who is being investigated?”
Legal counsel Safdar said the FIA was pursuing politically motivated prosecutions. Counsel for Khan remarked, “We also fear a FIR in this case,” indicating that they were concerned about the potential filing of a police report on the incident.
He pleaded with the judge to put a hold on the FIA’s final warning. Khan’s attorney told the court that the FIA lacked the power to issue the notice.
After hearing Advocate Safdar and Justice Ghural’s exchange above, the Federation’s lawyer requested that the FIA be brought before the court.
The hearing was postponed to December 19 later on.