IHC halts Imran Khan’s trial in cipher case till Jan 11


ISLAMABAD – The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday halted trial of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan in cipher case till January 11, 2024.

IHC Judge Miangul Hassan issued the order on the petition filed by the former prime minister challenging his indictment and proceedings in the case by the special court established under Official Secrets Act.

During the hearing, Khan’s lawyer Usman Gul submitted necessary documents related to the cipher case and contended that the first information report was lodged against his client before the filing of a complaint.

He added that legal procedure was ignored before the indictment of the former PTI chairman, adding that only a legally authorised official can lodged a complaint directly in court.

Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Prosecutor Raja Rizwan Abbasi received the notice in the courtroom during the hearing.

Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Usman Awan also appeared in IHC and informed that the statements of 25 witnesses have been recorded in the cipher case.

Earlier this month, Imran Khan filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court, challenging his indictment in cipher case and the entire proceedings by the special court established under the Official Secrets Act.

On Dec 12, the ousted premier Imran Khan and his second in line Shah Mahmood Qureshi were indicted in the cipher case for the second time in Adiala jail.

In his fresh plea, Khan said: “The learned trial court, while deciding the matter discussed in the petition, did not look into the true perspective of the facts and law which makes the impugned order and proceedings since 23/11/23 illegitimate/not-maintainable in the eye of law and liable to be set aside for the proper dispensation of justice.”

He requested the high court to invalidate the Dec 12 order of the special court.

“[…] It is graciously prayed that the petition in hand may very kindly be accepted while setting aside/declaring illegal, the order dated 12.12.23 by the learned trial court illegally/unauthorisedly while disobeying the law and legislature and preferred the wishes and whims of prosecution respectively in the interest of justice.”

He also prayed that proceedings of the trial court should be suspended the “interest of justice” till the decision of the fresh petition.

“Any other relief, which this honourable court deems fit and proper, may also be granted,” read the petition.

The former premier also asked the court discharge him from the case, declaring it illegal and unlawful.

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