Ex-Pakistan PM Khan gets bail extended again in graft case

Imran Khan, a former prime minister of Pakistan, had his bail on corruption-related charges renewed on Monday after he urged followers to protest in the event of another arrest.

Days of fatal violence broke out after Khan’s brief imprisonment last month on fraud allegations, as thousands of his supporters ransacked cities, set fire to structures, and engaged in combat with police.

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He was released from detention when the Supreme Court ruled that the arrest was unlawful, but he claims that the government still intends to hold him in order to stop his momentum ahead of elections that are scheduled for October.

“They believe that people will sit as silent spectators when they put me in jail,” the 70-year-old said in a live-streamed address late Sunday night.

“Death is much better than subjugation. Make up your minds against fear. You have to stand up, peaceful protest is your right,” he said.

Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi’s bail was extended by a special corruption court in Islamabad on Monday till July 4.

In addition, according to Gohar Khan, a member of his legal team, he was granted bail in 15 other matters before three courts.

Khan has launched an unprecedented campaign against Pakistan’s powerful military ever since he was removed from office by a no-confidence vote in parliament last year. His arrest on May 9 was seen as retaliation for the defiance by supporters.

After the former cricketer was freed, his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party was subjected to a harsh crackdown that resulted in numerous arrests.

Khan is accused of planning anti-state violence by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s administration, which also promised to bring some demonstrators before military tribunals.

“These cases are anti democratic,” Khan told a judge in an anti-terrorism court in Islamabad where he faced eight cases on Monday.

“I have never incited my supporters to violence,” he added. “Peaceful protest is a democratic right.”

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