The Islamabad High Court ruled on Friday that the lawyers of Imran Khan can meet the former Pakistan prime minister in Attock prison where he has been incarcerated after his conviction in a corruption case.
The ruling came after Khan’s lawyer Sher Afzal Khan Marwat appeared before Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and requested him to issue directives to allow the legal team access to Khan jailed since Saturday in the Punjab province.
Marawat said the lawyers were not permitted to meet the 70-year-old Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman despite the court orders, the Express Tribune newspaper reported.
He said “false accusations” of causing disruptions in the jail were levelled against Khan’s lawyers, it said.
“We have said this before and we will say it again, lawyers are allowed to hold meetings,” the chief justice said.
“Failure to allow these meetings will be viewed as contempt of court,” he warned.
The court also heard Khan’s plea requesting a transfer from Attock district prison to Rawalpindi’s high-security Adiala jail, the report said.
“There is the matter of meetings and facilities at the jail before us. We will issue appropriate orders,” Chief Justice Farooq said.
On Thursday, Khan’s wife Bushra Bibi was allowed to meet her husband for the first time since the former premier was put behind bars on Saturday, while his legal team was stopped from having a meeting with Khan.
Bushra met Khan after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) granted her permission, said Khan’s lawyer Naeem Haider Panjutha.
Panjuthaha was granted access on Monday by the jail authorities to meet Khan, but was denied permission on Thursday.
After seeing the PTI chairman, he had said that the former premier was being kept in “distressing” conditions and provided “C-Class jail facilities”.
Attock prison in eastern Punjab province is infamous for its harsh conditions and its inmates include convicted militants.
Khan has told his lawyers to take him out of the Attock jail as he does not want to remain in a small, isolated cell without air-conditioning that is infested with flies during the day and insects at night.
His party has approached the Islamabad High Court (IHC) and sought Khan’s transfer from Attock prison to Adiala jail in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.
Khan, the cricketer-turned-politician, was arrested on Saturday from his Lahore house shortly after an Islamabad trial court found him guilty of “corrupt practices” in the Toshakhana corruption case.
He was sentenced on charges of unlawfully selling state gifts acquired by him and his family during his 2018-2022 tenure.
Khan has also been barred from politics for five years, preventing him from contesting an upcoming election. He has denied any wrongdoing