Imran, Qureshi Indicted in Cipher Case

The accusations included violating the Official Secrets Act during their time in office, waving the cipher at a rally in Islamabad on March 27, 2022, and using the cipher for political purposes…reports Asian Lite News

A special court in Pakistan reindicted former Prime Minister Imran Khan and ex-Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the cipher case, accusing them of leaking state secrets and violating national laws.

The proceedings, presided over by Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqernain, took place in the high-security Adiala Jail Rawalpindi, where both leaders of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party are detained. Facing the judge, Khan, 71, and Qureshi, 67, pleaded not guilty to three charges.

The accusations included violating the Official Secrets Act during their time in office, waving the cipher at a rally in Islamabad on March 27, 2022, and using the cipher for political purposes.

During the hearing, Khan insisted on including in the charge sheet that he had exposed the national and international establishment, questioning the sequence of events that led to his government’s downfall and subsequent accusation.

He claimed the proceedings were a ‘drama’ aimed at protecting retired Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and US diplomat Donald Lu. Khan, expressing a lack of fear of the death penalty, asserted that the cipher was designed to topple his government, alleging a concealed conspiracy within it

Criticizing media restrictions, he called for a fair trial, warning the judge of the responsibility for any unfairness. The judge, in turn, reminded Khan of the courtroom setting and cautioned against an inappropriate tone.

Khan seeks recusal of IHC CJ

Imran Khan on Wednesday filed an application seeking recusal of Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Aamer Farooq from all the benches hearing cases against him, Pakistan-based The News International newspaper reported.

The News International is an English-language newspaper in Pakistan.

The former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman moved the application in the IHC, expressing a lack of confidence in Chief Justice Farooq.

In the application, Khan stated that Justice Farooq, since assuming charge as IHC CJ, had given the impression of a “one-man high court” and had included himself in every single and division bench hearing cases pertaining to Khan, apart from his intra-court appeals.

It said CJ Farooq had heard 120 applications of the former PTI chairman, alleging that the Toshakhana trial against Khan was conducted against the law because of the IHC chief justice, as per The News International.

It added that CJ Farooq also heard a case related to the number of dependents of Khan in the election nomination papers. It stated that after the applicant raised objections to the single bench hearing the matter, a three-member bench was constituted, which, through a majority decision, dismissed the case against the former prime minister, according to The News International.

The application read that CJ Farooq not only removed the majority decision from the court’s website but also issued a press release. It maintained that the applicant had lost trust in the IHC CJ and did not expect justice from him; therefore, he should recuse himself from all the cases related to Khan.

Recently, an accountability court in Islamabad dismissed the pre-arrest bail plea of Imran Khan in the Toshakhana case, ARY News reported on Wednesday.

The accountability court’s judge, Muhammad Bashir, announced the reserved verdict on Imran Khan’s pre-arrest bail plea in the case.

The National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) Deputy Prosecutor General, Muzaffar Abbasi, said that the PTI founder’s bail petition was rejected.

He said that the arrest orders would be implemented and the anti-corruption watchdog would seek the accused’s remand tomorrow.

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