ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - According to a statement issued by the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial has taken suo motu notice of the "brutal killing" of journalist Arshad Sharif.
The development comes three days after PTI chief Imran Khan wrote to CJP Bandial, asking him to conduct an independent judicial inquiry into Sharif's death in Kenya on October 24.
The Supreme Court has scheduled a hearing for Tuesday, according to a statement issued by the court, adding that notices have been issued to the interior secretary, foreign affairs secretary, information and broadcasting secretary, Federal Investigation Agency director general (DG), Intelligence Bureau DG, and president of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists.
According to the statement, the case would be heard by a five-member bench led by the CJP.
"The journalist community in the country and the public at large are deeply distressed and concerned about the death of the senior journalist, and they are seeking the court's scrutiny of the matter," the statement continued.
Imran and other PTI leaders have demanded an investigation into the renowned journalist's "targeted killing," claiming that he was forced to flee Pakistan and, later, the United Arab Emirates - where he had stayed for a short time before traveling to Kenya. However, the Foreign Office has dismissed these allegations.
Sharif left Pakistan in August after several cases were filed against him. He was said to have stayed in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), then went to Kenya, where he was killed.