KARACHI, Pakistan—Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was summoned on Tuesday to appear in court next week.
The possible contempt charges are in addition to the anti-terrorism charges brought against Khan by police over the same televised speech.
Khan had complained about his aide being charged with sedition for allegedly inciting a rebellion within the army.
“We will spare you,” Khan said in a speech naming the police chief and judge involved in the case against the aide. “We will sue you.”
Khan, who has campaigned for new elections since being forced to resign earlier this year, would be disqualified if convicted, legal experts said.
“The court … summoned him to appear in person on August 31,” Advocate General Jahangir Khan Jadun of Islamabad told Reuters.
The court also asked the Chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court to form a court bench to proceed with the contempt case, he added.
“This is a criminal conviction,” former judge Shaikh Usmani told television channel Geo News, adding that Khan could face up to six months in prison if convicted.
The South Asian country has seen at least one prime minister and several lawmakers lose their seats after such disqualifications.
The use of anti-terrorism laws as the basis for lawsuits against political leaders is not uncommon in Pakistan, and the Khan government has also used anti-terrorism laws against its opponents and critics.
His political party, Pakistan Teliku Einsaf (PTI), dismissed the accusations as politically motivated and said they were used to prevent him from leading an anti-government rally.
Khan served as prime minister from 2018 until he lost a confidence vote in parliament in April, with military support for a conservative agenda that appealed to many middle-class and religious voters, political analysts said. That’s it.
But analysts say he fell out with the military after a dispute over the appointment of spy chief.
Khan has denied ever receiving military support, and the military, which has ruled Pakistan for more than 30 years in its 75-year history, has denied any involvement in politics.
Said Raza Hassan