ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court dismissed a graft case against opposition leader Imran Khan Friday, ensuring he will contest a general election due next year, just months after the same body ousted ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
The court decision did, however, disqualify Jehangir Tareen, a top leader from Pakistan Taherik-e-Insaf party, for not correctly reporting his assets to income tax authorities.
PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said shortly after the rejection of ruling lawmaker Hanif Abbasi’s petition that he will challenge Tareen’s disqualification in court.
Khan had faced being disqualified from holding political office over charges including unreported assets, namely the funds he used to buy a scenic, sprawling property in the Bani Gala hills on the outskirts of the capital Islamabad.
He has dismissed the claims as a political vendetta, saying he used money earned from his career as one of Pakistan’s most famous World Cup cricketers to buy the land and that he has the documentation to prove it.
“No omission or dishonesty can be attributed to him. This petition has no merits and is dismissed accordingly,” chief justice Mian Saqib Nisar said, reading from the judgement to a packed courtroom.
Shortly after the judgement Khan held a press conference in Karachi where he told reporters “Pakistan’s highest court has exonerated me”.
“The taxpayers and those who earn their money through fair means and pay taxes should not be compared with the robbers and thieves,” Khan added.