Imran, Qureshi to be indicted in cipher case on Dec 12

News Desk
Tuesday, Dec 05, 2023

RAWALPINDI: A special court, established to conduct the hearing of cipher case, will indict former prime minister Imran Khan and ex-foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on December 12, Geo News reported on Monday.

The indictment date was set by judge Abul Hasnat Zulqarnain after both the suspects were provided with the case record during the hearing held in Adiala jail.

During the hearing, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawyers urged the court not to hand over the record, while the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) special prosecutor asked the court to go ahead.

The special court established under the Official Secrets Act 2023 held an open court hearing in Adiala jail where Khan and Qureshi are incarcerated.

The court is conducting the trial afresh after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) nullified the jail trial on November 21. Both of them were indicted on October 23 but the indictment stood cancelled after the IHC order.

It was second open court hearing on Monday after the judge decided to hold the trial in jail due to “serious security risks” brought to light by the prison’s superintendent.

The federal cabinet last week had also approved the summary to hold the jail trial of Khan and Qureshi in the cipher case after it was moved by the Ministry of Law and Justice.The court had also stated that the proceedings can be attended by anyone who wishes to do so, including the journalists.

Despite those orders, only six journalists were allowed to attend the hearing on Monday by the jail authorities.In his conversation with the journalists, the former PTI chairman vowed that he would name former army chief Gen (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa and US Embassy officials as witnesses in his defence in the case.

“Will include General Bajwa and US embassy officials as witnesses [in the case],” claimed Khan.The former prime minister predicted that his party would win the February 8 polls, adding he was arrested under a plan.

Khan said he was thankful to those PTI leaders jumping the ship.He also rejected reports that he held negotiations in jail. In November, PTI President Pervaiz Elahi claimed that officials of the European Union and the International Monetary Fund routinely visit Khan in Adiala jail.

Khan also shared that he was not facing any difficulties in jail.He also spoke about the allegations levelled against him by Khawar Maneka — the former husband of his wife Bushra Bibi.

The former prime minister also claimed that Bushra’s sons were being pressurised to give a statement against their mother.

Speaking to media persons, Qureshi said the PTI was in his heart and no one could take it out of there. “I do not need any post in PTI anymore,” said Qureshi.