Isran, Qureshi’s jail trial in the cipher case given Cabinet approval

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Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi are facing jail terms in the cipher case after the caretaker federal cabinet approved the summary filed by the law ministry on Monday. 

On August 29, the Ministry of Interior and Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain requested the Ministry of Interior to issue a no-objection certificate (NOC) for the jail trial and this resulted in the Ministry issuing it.

“It has been decided that the PTI chairman will face a jail trial due to security concerns,” the statement said.

Khan has filed an intra-court appeal against the jail trial in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) which will be heard on November 14 (tomorrow). In response to the court’s request, the attorney general has been asked to present his arguments.

After being ousted from office in April last year due to a no-confidence motion, the deposed prime minister moved the interim high court against the jail trial. However, on October 16, the court’s single bench rejected the deposed prime minister’s appeal against the jail trial.

There was no malice evident in the trial conducted for Khan in the cipher case by the two-judge bench led by IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq, according to the verdict read in the court and he was instructed to approach the trial court if his reservations persisted.

The single bench’s decision was appealed by Khan through the intra-court appeals system later on.

In August of this year, Khan and Qureshi were indicted under Section 5 of the Official Secrets Act 1923 for misusing a secret document that had been obtained by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). The charges were filed under the Provisions of the Official Secrets Act 1923.

Apparently, Imran did not have the diplomatic cable in his possession at the time. Moreover, the former ruling party claimed that the cable contained a threat by the US government to overthrow the government of the PTI.

The special court has indicted Imran and Qureshi in the cipher case and they are currently being held in Adiala jail as a result of the charges brought against them.

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