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ISLAMABAD: The special court, on Wednesday, deferred the indictment of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and PTI’s vice chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the cipher case.

Special Court Judge Abual Hasnaat Zulqarnain while hearing the case at Adiala Jail deferred Khan’s and Qureshi’s indictment and adjourned the hearing of the case till October 9.

During the hearing, the court marked the attendance of the PTI chief and the vice chairman.

At the start of the hearing, PTI chairman’s counsel Barrister Salman Safdar filed an application seeking to adjourn the case as their relevant pleas against jail and in-camera trial are pending before the Islamabad High Court (IHC). He requested the court for a fair trial of the case to wait for the IHC verdict on their applications.

The court rejected the PTI chairman’s application seeking to adjourn the hearing and said that the IHC has not issued any restraining orders.

The hearing of the case cannot be adjourned, he said.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) prosecutor requested the court that the hearing of the case be conducted in-camera and the presence of citizens should not be allowed in the hearing.

To this, the judge said that citizens are already not allowed as the court was hearing the case in jail.

During the hearing, copies of challan were not provided to the accused.

The court adjourned the hearing of the case till October 9. PTI lawyer Barrister Salman Safdar on Wednesday termed the in-camera trial of former premier Imran Khan and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the cypher case “unconstitutional”.

He made the remarks while talking to the media outside Adiala jail, where the special court presided over a hearing of the cypher case.

Talking to the media, Safdar said that earlier Khan’s arrest and remand in the case were also kept secret and now, this trial is being kept secret, as well. The trial of the cypher case should not be held behind in-camera and jail. He demanded transparency and an open hearing of the case.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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