Hearing of Imran Khan’s cipher case to be held in Adiala Jail

Strict security measures advised during Imran Khan's court appearance

RAWALPINDI, DEC 01 (DNA) — The special court has adjourned the hearing of cipher case against former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan and former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi until tomorrow (December 2), which will be held in Adiala Jail.

Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain presided over the hearing of the case at Judicial Complex in Islamabad on Friday in absence of any notification from the government for the hearing to be held inside prison.

Later, the Ministry of Law and Justice issued a notification allowing the Imran Khan’s cipher trial in Adiala jail. According to the notification, the trial of the cipher case registered under the Official Secrets Act against PTI Chairman Imran Khan and former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will be held in Adiala Jail.

The judge simultaneously adjourned the hearing for tomorrow which will be held in Adial Jail. Earlier during the court proceedings at Judicial Complex, Imran Khan filed a petition against the order of jail trial by the special court formed under the Official Secrets Act.

It has been stated in the application that this court ordered on November 23, 2023 that the accused be produced in the Judicial Complex on November 28. But on Nov 28, the court ordered a jail trial. In the presence of the order of Nov 23, the order of Nov 28 is illegal, the petition states.

The petitioner requested the court to execute the Nov 23, 2023 court order. The Islamabad High Court in its order on Nov 21 had declared the jail trial proceedings in cipher case null and void.

As a result, Imran and his aide Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s Oct 23 indictments in the case also stood null and void, and the trial was ordered to be conducted in the open court. The verdict was issued on an intra-court appeal filed by Imran against a single-member bench’s decision approving his jail trial in the cipher case.

On Nov 28, Special Court Judge Abul Hasnat Zulqarnain, while hearing the cipher case against PTI Chairman Imran Khan, ruled that the trial proceedings would continue at the Adiala jail but in an open court.

Citing “serious security risks”, Adiala jail authorities failed to present the former premier before the special court at Islamabad’s Federal Judicial Complex (FJC) as per the earlier orders of the same court’s judge.

During the hearing, the jail authorities submitted their report to the court, which Judge Zulqarnain reviewed. According to reports by intelligence agencies and the police, the PTI chairman faces life threats, the report stated.

It further said, “It has been informed that the PTI chairman faces security risks of a serious scale”. Earlier, on Nov 23, Judge Zulqarnain had issued directives that the PTI chief and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi be presented at the FJC. — DNA