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IHC overturns Imran Khan, Qureshi’s 10-year jail sentence in cipher case

By News Desk

June 3, 2024 04:32 PM


IHC overturns Imran Khan, Qureshi’s 10-year jail sentence in cipher case

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The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has overturned PTI founder and former prime minister Imran Khan, and former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s conviction in cipher case, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

A two-judge bench of the IHC consisting of Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb pronounced the verdict Monday on the appeals of Imran Khan and Shah Mehmood Qureshi, nearly an hour after reserving it following the conclusion of the arguments.

The duo are not expected to be released from prison due to Imran’s sentence in the Iddat case while Qureshi was arrested in recent May 9 cases. The Iddat case was transferred to another judge today while Qureshi is on physical remand till June 5 (Wednesday).

A special court, established under the Official Secrets Act, had handed both Imran and Qureshi 10-year jail sentences each in the case in January after Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain appo­inted a state counsel for them.

Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Omar Ayub hailed the verdict and called for their immediate release.

Talking to the media, PTI leader Barrister Gohar Ali Khan said: “The nation saw today that the just verdict came and the banner of justice was held high and that baseless case was eliminated in which Imran Khan spent around 10 months in jail and for which he was kept in jail all the time. Today is a day of happiness … very soon the nation will see that Imran Khan will be outside.”

Senate opposition leader Shibli Faraz said God had vindicated the PTI duo, adding that the verdict came as a “wave of fresh air” and that the party hoped that its other case of the reserved seats in the Supreme Court would also be granted justice.

Imran’s counsel, Barrister Salman Safdar, said the state had “badly failed” in proving its case and even its prosecutors had abandoned the case. “Hats off to the honourable judges. It was a case of first impression. Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi did not do any anti-state activity,” he said.

He also lauded the two leaders for their patience and forbearance in the case and for not pestering the legal team about questions of release. Safdar said the cipher case was the most important and serious one yet, adding that Imran’s release was near.

On May 23, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) requested the IHC’s permission to present the statement of US Assistant Secretary Donald Lu, given before a congressional committee in Washington, as evidence in the cipher case. Justice Aamer Farooq had expressed concern about the FIA’s request to present additional evidence so late in the proceedings. Justice Miangul Hassan questioned whether the prosecutor intended to call Lu as a witness or if this was a tactic to delay the case.

 

Reporter Hashar Ahsan Warraich


News Desk


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