Imran Khan hires new lawyer for representation in International Courts
The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf party announced on Friday that their leader, former Prime Minister Imran Khan, has enlisted the internationally renowned barrister Geoffrey Ronald Robertson to represent him in international courts. This legal representation pertains to cases concerning "unlawful detention and human rights abuses."
The PTI party has faced a nationwide crackdown following Khan's initial arrest on May 9, which was linked to alleged corruption and triggered widespread protests leading to the destruction of state facilities, including military assets. Although Khan was subsequently released on bail, he was later convicted in a graft case and sentenced to three years in prison, dealing a fresh blow to his political career. His path to a political comeback before an anticipated early national election appears to be marred by a protracted legal battle.
The PTI made the announcement through a tweet, stating, "PTI Chairman, Former Prime Minister @ImranKhanPTI has appointed the eminent Human Rights Barrister Geoffrey Robertson KC of @DoughtyStreet Chambers to advise and represent him in international courts in relation to unlawful detention and human rights abuses."
Numerous high-ranking and mid-level PTI leaders, along with hundreds of Khan's supporters, have been arrested since the violent protests on May 9. Some have left the party after their release, while others have gone into hiding to evade arrest.
Khan himself is facing multiple legal cases, including one involving the alleged leaking of state secrets, which carries the death penalty. Prior to his arrest, he accused the military of attempting to dismantle his party and derail his political career, a claim denied by the army.
Geoffrey Robertson, a barrister with a career dating back to 1973, has successfully represented prominent media outlets such as The Guardian, Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal. His client list includes notable figures like heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson, Dow Jones, and Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. Robertson has appeared in cases before the European Court of Human Rights and various other international courts and has undertaken numerous human rights missions on behalf of Amnesty International in countries such as Mozambique, Venda, Czechoslovakia, Malawi, Vietnam, and South Africa. In 2015, he represented Armenia alongside barrister Amal Clooney at the European Court of Human Rights, and since 2016, he has been representing Lula da Silva, the current president of Brazil.