Cipher case: Special court starts trial of Imran Khan, Qureshi under Official Secrets Act

PTI Chairman Imran Khan and Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi.  - AFP/File
PTI Chairman Imran Khan and Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi. – AFP/File
  • The IHC had last week rejected Khan’s plea seeking bail against the prosecution.
  • The court will start recording the statements of witnesses on the next hearing.
  • PTI leader imprisoned in Adiala jail; A case was registered under the Official Secrets Act.

ISLAMABAD: A special court constituted under the Official Secrets Act on Tuesday began the trial against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

The two were convicted in the cipher case on October 23 – despite filing a petition under CrPC 265-D to stall the prosecution – after the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) charged them with misuse of diplomatic cables and misappropriation of secret laws. A case of violation was registered. Conversation between Pakistan’s envoy and US diplomat in Washington.

The FIA, in its challan, said the former prime minister and vice president were found guilty in the case and requested the court to try them in the case and punish them.

The investigating agency also said that Khan had a copy of the cipher but did not return it.

The controversy first came to light on March 27, 2022, when Imran, while addressing a public rally, waved a letter in front of the crowd, claiming it was a cipher of a foreign nation conspiring with its political rivals to overthrow the PTI government. A conspiracy was hatched to throw it.

During today’s hearing, witnesses, nine of whom were present in the court, were unable to record their statements in the cipher case, sources said. geo news,

Meanwhile, PTI’s legal team submitted four applications, including one seeking to provide names of witnesses before each hearing.

Two applications were filed by Qureshi, one seeking adjournment of the case without hearing, and the other seeking an adjournment on the basis of a bail petition filed in the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

In response to PTI’s application for provision of the full challan, Judge Zulqarnain allowed the defense team to view the challan documents while barring them from taking photographs or making copies.

The case has been adjourned till November 7. The court will formally record the statements of the witnesses in the next hearing.

Last week, the PTI chairman’s plea seeking stay of proceedings against him in the cipher case was rejected by the IHC.

IHC Chief Justice Aamir Farooq directed the special court to ensure a “fair trial” against the former prime minister.

Separately, the IHC on Friday also rejected the former prime minister’s plea seeking cancellation of bail and the First Information Report (FIR) in the Cipher case.

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