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Pakistan

Imran’s Toshakhana sentence suspended, but former PM to remain in jail for cipher trial

  • Special court directs Attock Jail authorities to keep cricketer-turned-politician in ‘judicial lockup’ under case related to Official Secrets Act
Published August 29, 2023

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) suspended on Tuesday Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s conviction and three-year sentence in the Tosha­k­h­ana case.

However, the former prime minister will remain in jail as a special court, established to hear cases related to the Official Secrets Act, directed the Attock Jail authorities to keep Khan in “judicial lockup” and produce him before the court August 30, 2023 (Wednesday).

Later, the Ministry of Law and Justice issued a notification that trail by the special court would be held in Attock jail due to “security concerns”.

Cipher case: Special court extends Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s remand by 2 days

On Tuesday, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Tariq Mahmood Jahangiri announced the reserved verdict after both sides concluded their arguments on Imran’s appeal against his prison term.

PTI chairman’s aide on legal affairs Naeem Haider Panjotha said that the chief justice accepted their request and suspended the sentence. Panjotha wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that the IHC further said that a detailed decision would be provided later.

The former PM is currently incarcerated at Attock jail.

Earlier, the PTI had filed a new petition in the IHC seeking directives to refrain authorities from further arrest of Imran in any case filed against him after August 5. The petition had named the state as a respondent.

Meanwhile, former PM and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz President Shehbaz Sharif said that Imran’s sentence had been suspended and “not terminated”.

“The Chief Justice of Pakistan’s message of ‘good to see you’ and ‘wish you good luck’ has reached the IHC,” he said. He claimed that “everyone knew about the verdict before it was even announced”.

“This moment is a matter of concern for our justice system. If a clear message is received from the higher judiciary, what else should the subordinate court do?”

Monday’s hearing

During the hearing on Monday, Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) lawyer Advocate Amjad Pervaiz had presented his arguments for opposing the suspension of former PM’s jail sentence.

Pervez urged the bench to issue a notice to the State in the case, adding it is mandatory under the law. When Pervez concluded his arguments, Sardar Latif Khosa, representing Imran, said he did not have any objection to the ECP lawyer’s plea but demanded that it “should not be done” at this stage.

The ECP lawyer also referred to various laws and past court verdicts, including Indian National Congress’ Rahul Gandhi’s plea seeking suspension of his two-year sentence, which the lawyer said was rejected.

After hearing the arguments, the IHC had said it will announce the verdict on Tuesday (today).

Imran’s arrest

On August 5, Imran was arrested from his Lahore residence shortly after a district and sessions court in the federal capital found him guilty in the Toshakhana case and sentenced him to three years in prison.

In his petitions, Imran expressed dissatisfaction over the Additional Sessions Judge, Islamabad (West) order of August 5, whereby, he was convicted under Article 174 of the Election Act, 2017.

He added that the said impugned order was not sustainable and liable to be set aside.

The petitioner submitted that the impugned judgement had been passed “with a pre-disposed mind” of the learned trial judge to convict and sentence the appellant irrespective of the merits of the case. They stated that the impugned judgement had been passed without providing proper or adequate opportunity of hearing to the appellant.

Last year in October, the ECP had disqualified Imran from his parliamentary membership for filing “false” and “incorrect declaration” in his statement of assets and liabilities for the year 2020-21 filed with the electoral entity.

Background

Established in 1974, the Tosha­khana is a department under the administrative control of the Cabinet Division and stores precious gifts given to rulers, parliamentarians, bureaucrats, and officials by heads of other governments and states and foreign dignitaries.

Lawmakers from the ruling coalition had filed a reference last year against Imran alleging that he had not shared details of the gifts he retained from the Toshakhana and proceeds from their reported sales.

Comments

Comments are closed.

Love Your Country Aug 29, 2023 01:25pm
He will be arrested in another case I guess.
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Usman Aug 29, 2023 01:46pm
And stock market is down 800 points.imran is a bad news for the economy.but the judges don't care about it they are following instructions from there Jewish masters in US and israel
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Shahid Khan Aug 29, 2023 01:50pm
Circus continues. There's no hope till rule of law is implemented
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KU Aug 29, 2023 02:01pm
And he has been arrested in a cipher case, although it is only alleged. Pakistani citizens are jealous and envy the speed and urgency in the implementation of the law by our law agencies in this case. Maybe a time will soon come when our stolen cars or house theft or kidnapping cases, etc., will also be solved with the same urgency.
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Johnny Walker Aug 29, 2023 02:07pm
He aint coming out. Only large scale protests against utility bills will upset the apple cart of the boots, which may lead to his release.
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BK Aug 29, 2023 02:21pm
They will not release him. He is not in due to any crime and the establishment is not playing by any rules…so legality of their decisions of court’s decision becomes moot.
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test Aug 29, 2023 07:16pm
I don't trust niazi even a bit. This man promised to give 10 million (1 crore) jobs, five million (50 lakh) houses, ending of corruption in 90 days. Profitable state owned entities and whatever the bullshit he had said in his political campaigns. This man even has said that he will commit suicide but will never go to IMF and then he went to licking western shoes by begging for dollars like his predecessors. Niazi is widely known as the man who was launched by the establishment in 2013 to derail the CPEC and the brotherhood between China and Pakistan. The thing was that the Pakistani elite class licked western shoes for dollars and aid and when they try to join Chinese side then aid and dollars went missing from western side so as to make them happy and to lick western shoes the establishment launched Niazi in 2013. From Liaquat to Ayub to Bhutto to Zia to Benazir to Musharraf to Zardari to Nawaz to Niazi they were all launched by the elite class to beg for dollars by licking west shoes
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test1 Aug 29, 2023 07:21pm
Lie 1-Niazi said he will commit suicide but will never go to IMF and then went to IMF but didn't committed suicide. Lie 2-10 Million Jobs. Lie 3-5 Million Houses. Lie 4-Ending of Corruption in 90 day. Lie 5-Profitable State Owned Entities Lie 6-Good Governance Lie 7-Will not lick western shoes Lie 8-Passport Ranking Improvement Lie 9-Foreign Workers will come to Pakistan to look for Jobs Lie 10-Will pay all the debt of the country Lie 11-Will never compromise with the Elite class
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Haq Aug 29, 2023 08:53pm
Political circus.... totally disregarding grave issues faced by country & masses
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Love Your Country Aug 29, 2023 10:26pm
@test1, roti, kapra aur makan and what happened in Tashkand... Version 2
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Obaid Surmawala Aug 29, 2023 10:54pm
@Usman, if u have no idea about something, its better to keep your mouth shut.
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