Home Featured Special court to try Imran, Qureshi in cipher case tomorrow in Adiala Jail

Special court to try Imran, Qureshi in cipher case tomorrow in Adiala Jail

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ISLAMABAD: The special court will resume the cypher trial against former premier Imran Khan and ex-foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi tomorrow at the Adiala jail tomorrow following the issuance of a notification by the law ministry. 

The cypher case pertains to a document waved by Imran, then the prime minister, at a public rally in March last year, terming it evidence of a foreign conspiracy behind the no-confidence motion he faced at that time. The motion was carried a few weeks later and Imran’s government ended.

During the proceedings today, court personnel informed Special Court Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain that no notification from the law ministry for holding the trial at Adiala jail had been received. The judge indicated that a decision would be made upon receipt of the notification. In the absence of the notification, Judge Zulqarnain mentioned his intent to issue production orders for Imran and Qureshi to appear before the special court at the FJC.

Subsequently, the law ministry’s Nov 29 notification was presented in court, granting “sanction for conducting the proceedings and trial” at Adiala jail.

The counsel for Qureshi, Ali Bukhari, argued that his client be presented in court, emphasising the need for adherence to the previous hearing’s order.

Judge Zulqarnain proposed a review upon the arrival of the jail trial notification, referencing the court’s own order from Nov 23 and directing the lawyers to the Nov 28 order for comprehensive insights. The defence counsel contested the legality of the order, asserting that Adiala jail’s restrictions on videography and photography needed reconsideration for journalistic access.

The judge raised questions regarding the court’s authority to handle threats, highlighting the necessity of relevant reports. Security reports attached to the Adiala jail superintendent’s letter were acknowledged, with Judge Zulqarnain deeming the presence of journalists crucial.

Qureshi’s counsel argued the Nov 28 order’s incompleteness regarding directives for his client. Bukhari insisted on reasons for holding the hearing in jail, stressing adherence to the IHC’s orders and the need for all proceedings in the presence of suspects.

Judge Zulqarnain reiterated the commitment to justice, stating that not only would justice be done but also seen. He underscored the court’s obligation to conduct the jail trial, contingent on jail conditions. While awaiting the law ministry’s notification, the defence counsel suggested shifting the court to the jail, noting the IHC’s concern about the trial’s location rather than the proceedings’ legality.

Arguing the unlawfulness of detaining Imran and Qureshi post the Nov 28 order, the defence counsel sought the law ministry’s notification. When Imran’s sister inquired about its expected arrival, the judge assured that if the notification didn’t arrive, he would request it.

After the break, the receipt of the law ministry’s notification was confirmed, subsequently adjourning the hearing until the following day and emphasizing the necessity to inform the IHC.

The PTI lawyers sought a hearing on Dec 5, while the Federal Investigation Agency’s prosecutor pressed for an immediate trial at Adiala jail. Despite these requests, the judge deferred the hearing until Saturday, concurrently addressing a plea regarding the presence of PTI leaders in court.

Imran files plea against jail trial

Imran filed a plea against the order to resume his trial in prison. The petition states that the court has ordered a jail trial on November 28. In the presence of the order dated November 23, the order dated November 28 is illegal. Therefore, it is requested to implement the order of November 23.

PTI lawyer Sardar Latif Khosa earlier mentioned he would raise the point that according to the decision of the judge, the jail superintendent would be authorised to decide as to who would go to the court for the hearing, which was illegal and unconstitutional.

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