Islamabad: A Pakistani court on Monday acquitted jailed former prime minister Imran Khan and other top leaders of his party in two cases related to vandalism during an anti-government protest march in 2022.

The 71-year-old Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party founder has been in jail since August last year after being convicted in some of the nearly 200 cases slapped on him since his ouster in April 2022.

The district and sessions court of Islamabad acquitted Khan, former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, ex-communication minister Murad Saeed, and other PTI leaders in two cases of vandalism during the ‘Haqeeqi Azaadi’ march, the Express Tribune newspaper reported.

In May 2022, the former cricketer-turned-politician launched a march toward Islamabad from Lahore to topple the coalition government of Shehbaz Sharif that assumed power after he was ousted as the premier following a vote of no confidence.

The rally was part of the PTI’s struggle to achieve “real freedom” and deliver the nation from the “slavery” of the “US-backed” coalition government. Khan had accused the coalition government of coming to power through a “US-backed conspiracy”.

The Islamabad police at that time filed separate cases against 150 people, including Khan, Qureshi and other party leaders, over allegations of arson and vandalism in the federal capital.

Earlier this month, a judicial magistrate of Islamabad also acquitted Khan in two cases of vandalism during his party’s two long marches in 2022.

Judicial magistrate Shaista Kundi heard the pleas filed by the former prime minister for his acquittal in the cases registered at Islamabad’s Lohi Bhair and Sahala police stations and one related to his production in the court.