Pakistani court grants protection to Imran Khan from arrest
ISLAMABAD (AP) — A Pakistani court on Friday shielded from arrest former Prime Minister Imran Khan until at least next week, amid a roiling political crisis that has pitted the celebrity politician against the current government and spilled over into street protests.
Khan was ousted through a no-confidence vote in Parliament last April.
Since then, the 70-year-old former cricket player turned politician has become embroiled in more than 100 legal cases against him, including graft while in office.
The ruling by the Lahore High Court was another reprieve for embattled Khan, who is now the country's top opposition leader.
The court order virtually prevents his arrest until March 27 over accusations that he incited supporters from his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party to violence when he failed to appear before a court in the capital Islamabad because of hours-long clashes between his party and the police.
Since November, Khan has avoided appearances before courts in Islamabad in at least three cases, including a graft charge, when he was wounded in a gun attack at a protest rally in the eastern Punjab province.
Khan says his life is in danger and that's why he is seeking bail to avoid appearances before judges in multiple cases.
Khan's standoff with the government of his successor, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, has turned increasingly violent in recent weeks.
Last week, his supporters clashed with police in Islamabad, resulting in injuries to dozens of officers.
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