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Cipher case: FIA prosecutor moves application to present Donald Lu’s statement in court

By News Desk

May 22, 2024 06:58 PM


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Islamabad High Court's two member bench comprising Chief Justice Amir Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb on Wednesday heard the review petition of former prime minister and PTI founder Imran Khan and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

During the start of the hearing, public prosecutor Zulfiqar Abbas Naqvi told the court that FIA prosecutor Hamid Ali Shah had gone to Mansehra to visit his ailing mother and could not reach Islamabad to attend the hearing.

On the occasion, the FIA prosecutor filed a new application in the court and demanded to present US diplomat Donald Lu’s statement in the court as proof against the petitioners.

IHC Justice Miangul Hassan inquired from the prosecutor whether he wanted to present Donald Lu in court, and the prosecutor replied, “he wanted to present the statement of the US diplomat only”.

Chief Justice Amir Farooq questioned the prosecutor to prove how the statement of Donald Lu was relevant in the case. The CJ further added that FIA wanted to present a witness at the end of the appeal therefore the prosecutor has to satisfy the court that how the statement of Mr Lu was important in this case. Justice Amir Farooq further added that the “bench has severe reservations over filing of miscellaneous application in the court”. On the occasion, Justice Miangul Hassan asked the prosecutor that it become clear that FIA wanted to put a two to three-month delay in the case.

“The first testimony will come from abroad, then the witness will come, then the cross-examination, it is a misuse of process”, Justice Miangul Hasan told the FIA prosecutor.

Meanwhile, the court summoned Advocate General Islamabad and State counsels to the rostrum. “When were the State Councils appointed as the advocates of PTI chief and Shah Mahmood Qureshi?, the court questioned. State counsels were appointed as defence council on 26 January 2024, the Advocate General replied. “When did you first appear in court? Chief Justice Amir Farooq asked the state counsels.

“We appeared in court on January 27”, state counsel Abdul Rahman told the court. Did you ask the court for time? Chief Justice questioned. “No, I did not ask the court for time”, State counsel Abdul Rahman said.

“Were the case records provided to you?” Chief Justice questioned. “All files were provided to us”, Advocate General said.

“Where is the order to provide relevant records to State Councils?”, Justice Miangul Hasan questioned. “I received a WhatsApp from the jail authorities”, Advocate General replied.

Chief Justice surprisingly said, “The defence counsels started the cross-examination instead of asking for time”. “Any good lawyer need at least two weeks for preparation”, Justice Miangul Hasan remarked.

“Wish I had more time”, State counsel Abdul Rahman said. “Did you prepare for the case in one night?” Chief Justice questioned.

“How long did you consult with PTI founder and Shah Mahmood Qureshi”? court quizzed the counsels. 

“I met PTI founder but not so much regarding questions, state counsel Abdul Rehman said and further added that “he met PTI chief but could not meet a long time”.

How long was your consultation with Shah Mahmood Qureshi? Chief Justice asked the defence council. “I tried hard but Shah Mahmood Qureshi did not consult”, the Defense counsel replied.

“When the accused were not consulting you, why did you consider yourself so bound that you want to cross-examine? Justice MIangul Hasan asked the counsel.

On the occasion, the court sought affidavits from the state counsels. “You should give an affidavit that you tried to consult the founder PTI and Shah Mahmood Qureshi”, Justice Hasan Aurangzeb said. “You should submit all of your relevant facts in the form of an affidavit in the court”, Chief Justice Amir Farooq told the counsels.

IHC Chief Justice directed FIA Prosecutor Hamid Ali Shah to appear in court tomorrow and give arguments. “If Shah does not come, the court will complete the hearing without him”, CJ Amir Farooq clarified.

The court adjourned the hearing on the case till tomorrow.

 

Reporter: Ihtesham Kiyani


News Desk


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