December 2, 2023

Cipher case: IHC extends stay against jail trial of PTI chief

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday extended for a day (November 21) the stay against the jail trial of the former prime minister 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, the court approved an extension in the stay order on the request of Imran Khan’s lawyer Salman Akram Raja until Tuesday, November 21.

Justice Aurangzeb asked why the special court judge had written a letter asking for the trial to be held in jail and what security concerns he was aware of.

The IHC judge remarked that the notifications issued by the federal government for the jail trial seemed to be prima facie against high court rules.

He also said that many questions needed to be answered about the trial and summoned the notification of the appointment of the special court judge.

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The court has also sought reports about the security threats on which basis the trial of the case is being conducted in jail.

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.