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ISLAMABAD: The special court, on Saturday, put on hold the hearing of post-arrest bail petitions of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi till Monday in the cipher case due to the PTI’s petitions against jurisdiction of special court and hearing in Attock Jail pending before the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

The special court judge, Abu al-Hasnat Muhammad Zulqarnain, who was recently appointed to hear the cases registered under the Official Secrets Act from across the country, while hearing the case adjourned hearing on bail pleas of the accused till Monday.

PTI chairman’s lawyers, Babar Awan and Barrister Salman Safdar, Qureshi’s counsel Ali Bukhari and the prosecutor appeared before the court.

During the hearing, Salman Safdar asked the court to ensure that his client be allowed to freely meet with his lawyers at Attock Jail. He complained that whenever the lawyers went to Attock Jail to meet with Imran, they had to walk for around a kilometre and a half.

He further said that they have also submitted an application against holding the trial at Attock Jail.

The judge remarked that the PTI chief has challenged the jurisdiction of special court and hearing of cipher case against Khan at Attock Jail at Islamabad High Court (IHC). Let the IHC decide these petitions then we will look into this matter.

PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s lawyer, Ali Bukhari, also appeared and urged the court to allow him to present his arguments.

However, the special prosecutor of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) opposed hearing arguments on the bail plea.

The prosecutor told the court that the PTI’s legal team has already filed pleas against the special court before the IHC and that pleas filed before the special court should not be heard until that case is decided.

The court, after hearing the arguments, adjourned further hearings till September 4.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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