The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has approved Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) leader Khawaja Asif’s appeal to cross-examine Prime Minister Imran Khan in the ongoing defamation case filed by the prime minister against the PML-N leader.
A sessions court had ruled earlier that Khawaja Asif’s counsel did not have the right to cross-examine the prime minister in the Rs.10 billion case, a decision which the PML-N leader’s counsel appealed this month.
“The statement was recorded on December 17. How can the trial court terminate the right to cross-examine on the same day?” Chief Justice Athar Minallah stated in reference to testimony recorded by the prime minister via video link, in the absence of Khawaja’s lawyer, before Additional District and Sessions Judge Muhammad Adnan.
In response, the prime minister’s lawyer said that Khawaja Asif’s counsel had not appeared in court on that day. Asif has maintained that his lawyer was unable to appear in court on that day because of ‘ill-health.’
The Chief Justice affirmed that cross examination is each party’s right. He urged that the case should be heard on a daily basis and concluded within two months.
The defamation case was filed by Prime Minister Imran Khan in 2012 against Khawaja Asif for accusing the premier of money laundering and improper use of anonymous companies in the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust funds.