Imran khan Cipher trial will proceed, decides IHC

Web DeskOctober 13, 2023

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) asserted that the pending petitions in the court would not impact the ongoing cipher trial of former Prime Minister Imran Khan at a special court. Simultaneously, Imran Khan, the chairman of PTI, expressed his unwavering commitment to the pursuit of ‘Haqeeqi Azadi’ and the need for “free and fair elections.”

This marks the first message from the incarcerated former premier, initially imprisoned following his conviction in the Toshakhana case and later in the cipher case after the high court suspended his sentence in the former. He was relocated from Attock jail to Adiala earlier this month.

During a bail petition hearing filed by Mr. Khan, IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq clarified that the pendency of a matter in the high court would not affect the trial in the subordinate court. The chief justice emphasized that there was no injunctive order from the IHC to halt the trial.

The special prosecutor of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Naqvi, claimed that the former premier was obstructing the trial proceedings, as the defense counsel refused to accept copies of the challan. The defense argued that the Official Secrets Act’s Section 5 was not applicable to the cipher case and stated that this law typically focused on the armed forces and sharing information with an enemy state.

The court adjourned further hearing until October 16, with the prosecution continuing its arguments on that date. The IHC Chief Justice consolidated all petitions related to Mr. Khan’s cipher trial, which will be taken up next week.

In a statement released by PTI’s media wing, Imran Khan emphasized his unyielding commitment to ‘Haqeeqi Azadi’ and the core principles of upholding the rule of law and the Constitution of Pakistan, which includes the importance of free and fair elections. He pledged not to leave Pakistan and accused the cipher case of being designed to protect former army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and US official Donald Lu. Imran Khan also shared his experience in prison and appealed to the judiciary for the immediate release of PTI workers.

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