Trial of cipher case halted on Imran’s request

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ISLAMABAD: Trial of cipher case halted on Imran’s request. Pakistan Press Trust Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan’s application to stop the proceedings and proceedings against him being prosecuted by a special court in connection with the cipher case has been dismissed by the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

In the cipher case, which included charges that Imran and Shah Mahmood Qureshi violated the secret law by misusing and misplacing the diplomatic cable, the special court was formed under the Official Secrets Act and indicted Imran and his deputy last week. A conversation between Pakistan’s envoy to Washington and a US diplomat during the tenure of his government in December last year revealed that the envoy had violated the secret law by misusing and misplacing the cable.

It was heard in the IHC on Thursday that the jailed deposed prime minister pleaded with the judge to stop his trial and indictment for the case concerning ciphering.

Imran was granted a fair trial by the court at the end of his appeal against the indictment after the court concluded the contest against the indictment.

As regards the PTI chairman’s bail application, the decision on the bail application will be announced tomorrow under the Official Secrets Act, which governs the use of official secrets. After hearing the arguments on the bail application, the court has reserved its decision after hearing the arguments for and against bail.

Both Imran and Qureshi have denied all the charges that have been made against them in connection with the cipher case and the trial is set to begin on Friday. At the Adiyala Prison in which Imran is being held, the hearing will take place behind closed doors before a special court, which will hear the case behind closed doors.

In early August, the PTI chief was sentenced to three years in prison for corruption after he was found guilty of contempt of court and terrorism charges, as well as inciting violence and incitement of terrorism. He is currently facing hundreds of cases.

There was a suspension of the sentence however, as a result of the IHC. The victory in the cipher case, however, only lasted a few days as he was re-arrested in the case later in August.

Unaware of the basis for charging my client

In today’s hearing, Khan’s attorney, Barrister Salman Safdar, told the court that the police had handed over the challan to them on October 17, and without giving them a week to respond, the court indicted Khan on October 23 without giving them a chance to react.

The lawyer argued that “[Imran] has been accused of changing the contents of the cipher, but until now we have not received either the amended copy of the cipher nor the original copy,” the lawyer said.

During the trial, he told the court that the cipher used at the time did not appear in the charge sheet that Imran was charged with by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

“When I am not aware of the basis upon which my client is being charged, then I cannot understand how I can proceed with a trial. The trial court should be required to supply us with the relevant documents so that we can proceed with our case,” he said.

The police say that the arrest took place secretly, as did the remand, and that we had not come to the court. However, the way the charges were filed is unacceptably bad.

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