- ATC Judge Abual Hasnat Muhammad Zulqarnain conducts hearing at Attock Jail
A special court extended on Wednesday Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s judicial remand till September 13 in the cipher case.
Anti-terrorism court (ATC) Judge Abual Hasnat Muhammad Zulqarnain conducted the hearing on Wednesday at Attock Jail, where Imran has been imprisoned since August 5 following his arrest in the Toshakhana case.
The PTI chief was produced before the special court judge while his legal team was also allowed to enter the court.
The Ministry of Law and Justice had earlier issued a notification that the trial would be held in Attock Jail due to “security concerns”.
The case in question is related to “misuse” of alleged contents of a diplomatic cipher, cited by ex-premier Imran as proof of an attempt to remove his government.
Imran’s Toshakhana sentence suspended, but former PM to remain in jail for cipher trial
Wednesday’s development comes a day after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) suspended Imran’s conviction and three-year sentence in the Toshakhana case.
Imran was arrested on August 5 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.
On Tuesday, the IHC ruled: “The sentence involved in the instant matter is short, hence we feel that the applicant is entitled to the suspension of sentence and be released on bail.”
However, a special court, established to hear cases related to the Official Secrets Act, directed Attock Jail authorities to keep Khan in “judicial lockup” and produce him before the court on August 30, 2023 (today) in connection with the cipher case.
Cipher case background
A case was registered against Imran and PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi under under Sections 5 and 9 of the Official Secrets Act, 1923.
According to the copy of the FIR registered on August 15, consequent upon the conclusion of inquiry No 111/2023 upon the complaint registered in the Counter Terrorism Wing (CTW), FIA, it transpired that former prime minister namely, Imran Ahmad Khan Niazi, former foreign minister namely, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, and their other associates are involved in the communication of information contained in the secret classified document (cipher telegram received from Parep Washington dated March 7, 2022, to secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs) to the unauthorised persons (i.e., public at large) by twisting the facts to achieve their “ulterior motives” and personal gains in a manner prejudicial to the interests of state security.
Qureshi has also been arrested in the same case.