Cipher case: special court orders in-camera trial of Imran, Qureshi

Cipher case in-camera

ISLAMABAD: A special court, established under the Official Secrets Act 2023, on Thursday approved the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) plea to conduct an in-camera hearing of former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan and Vice-Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the cipher case.

Special court Judge Abul Hasnat Zulqarnain announced the reserved verdict in the case. The court said that the family members would be given access to the courtroom during the hearing.

The FIA had filed a petition under Section 14(a) seeking an in-camera hearing of Khan and Qureshi. The development comes after the former prime minister and PTI’s vice-chairman were indicted by the special court for the second time yesterday.

Both the leaders were indicted in the case on October 23 and pleaded not guilty to their involvement in the offence related to the alleged misuse of diplomatic cable for political purposes.

Following Khan and Qureshi’s indictment, the regular trial of the cipher case on the charges of leaking state secrets was being held in Adiala jail in Rawalpindi.

Last month, both leaders challenged their indictment in the case, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) declared their jail trial “null and void” while allowing their intra-court appeals in the case.

IHC turns down Imran Khan’s plea

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday turned down a plea moved by the former PTI Chairman Imran Khan to stay proceedings of the trial court in cipher case.

IHC Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb took up PTI founder’s plea against his jail trial in cipher case.

During proceedings, the PTI founder’s counsel prayed to the court to stop the trial of the cipher case till the next date of hearing.

IHC judge while summoning the report from the Federal  Investigation Agency (FIA) by December 20, rejected the PTI founder’s plea to immediately halt the proceedings of the trial court in the case.

Justice Aurangzeb remarked he would wait for the report. He said a judge could choose jail for trial of the accused but that should be an open court.

The court issued notice for December 20 on the plea seeking a stay order.

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