Cipher case: IHC reserves verdict on jail trial of PTI chief

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD : The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Tuesday reserved its verdict on the intra-court appeal of former prime minister and PTI chief Imran Khan against his jail trial in the cipher case.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman is currently detained in Adiala jail in Rawalpindi on judicial remand.

A two-member Justice Gul Hassan Aurangzeb and Justice Saman Rafat bench heard arguments. During today’s hearing, Salman Akram Raja completed his arguments.

Khan’s lawyer, Salman Akram Raja told the IHC that the part of the trial that had taken place before the cabinet had notified the jail trial was illegal.

He pleaded with the court to accept the plea of his client against the jail trial in the cipher case.

Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Awan told the court that the jail trial was an open trial.

He admitted that Khan’s family had not been allowed into the courtroom in the initial hearings but he attributed it to the fact that the room where proceedings were held was not big enough to accommodate enough people.

The AGP said the trial of the case was initiated on October 23.

The IHC has reserved its verdict on the plea of the PTI chief after the conclusion of arguments from both sides.

The short verdict is likely to be announced today in the evening between 5 to 5:30 pm, according to the Islamabad High Court.

Cipher case

The first information report (FIR) was registered on August 15 under the Official Secrets Act. It was registered on the complaint of the Home Secretary.

Former prime minister Imran Khan and former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi were nominated in the report, while names of former principal secretary Azam Khan and former planning minister Asad Umar were also mentioned.

The FIR stated that the former prime minister and foreign minister distorted the facts of the diplomatic cipher. “A conspiracy was launched to misuse the contents of the cipher to fulfill nefarious purposes”, it added. It further stated that the former premier and top diplomat endangered the state interests.