Home Latest News IHC Accepts Imran Khan, Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s Appeals against Convictions in Cipher Case

IHC Accepts Imran Khan, Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s Appeals against Convictions in Cipher Case

In short order, IHC Chief Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb annul convictions

by Staff Report

File photo of PTI founder Imran Khan

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday accepted Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan and former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s appeals against their conviction in the cipher case, annulling the verdicts against them.

Khan and Qureshi were sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment each in the cipher case in January, just a few days ahead of the Feb. 8 general elections. However, both are likely to remain incarcerated as the former remains imprisoned in the Iddat case and the latter was recently arrested in connection with some cases related to the May 9 riots.

Announcing the verdict, IHC Chief Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb accepted the appeals of the accused. It is unclear when the detailed verdict would be issued with reasons for the acceptance of the appeals.

The cipher case pertains to allegations that the former prime minister made public contents of a classified communique sent by Pakistan’s ambassador in Washington to the government in Islamabad. The case registered by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) alleged Khan had retained a copy of the cipher in violation of rules and used it for political gains while endangering the country’s diplomatic ties. Khan had relied on the cipher as “proof” of a U.S. conspiracy to topple his government, to repeated denials from both Pakistan’s government and the U.S. State Department.

A special court, established under the Official Secrets Act, had convicted both Khan and Qureshi after marathon hearings, with Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain appointing a state counsel for them after their lawyers failed to reach the court at Adiala Jail in time. During hearings into the appeals, the IHC bench had observed the contents of the cipher were not made available to the trial court, noting it was difficult to ascertain if he had “twisted” the facts without knowing them.

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