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Sunday March 03, 2024

Cabinet gives nod to jail trial of Imran Khan, Shah Mahmood Qureshi in cipher case

Sources say the Ministry of Law and Justice had moved the summary and cabinet approved it via circulation

November 30, 2023
PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Chairman Imran Khan. — AFP/Files
PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Chairman Imran Khan. — AFP/Files

ISLAMABAD: Following a court decision, the federal cabinet on Thursday green lit the summary seeking the jail trial of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the cipher case, Geo News reported citing sources.

Officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the Ministry of Law and Justice had moved the summary and the cabinet approved it via circulation. The decision to move the summary was taken following special court judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain's order to hold the trial in jail.

The special court, earlier this week, had ruled that the trial in the cipher case will be conducted in Adiala jail.

Judge Zulqarnain said: "The cipher trial will take place in jail in light of the security report by the superintendent of Adiala Jail."

The order said that the next hearing of the case would take place at Adiala jail. The court also stated that the proceedings can be attended by anyone who wishes to do so including the journalists.

The orders were issued in the first hearing of the cipher case that was held outside the Adiala prisons after the Islamabad High Court's (IHC) decision to nullify the August 29 notification for a jail trial.

Judge Zulqarnain of the special court has been conducting the trial in jail citing security concerns since Khan was indicted on the charges last month.

In August of this year, Khan and Qureshi were booked under the Official Secrets Act 1923 in the cipher case after the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) invoked Section 5 of the said law.

£190 million settlement case

On Tuesday, the federal cabinet also approved conducting the jail trial of the PTI chairman in corruption cases.

According to a report published today, the cabinet summary, moved by the Ministry of Law and Justice, was approved via circulation.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had requested the ministry to allow the trial to be held in Adiala jail considering the law and order situation.

The ministry had already issued a notification on the trial of the PTI chairman in the £190 million National Crime Agency (NCA), UK, and Toshakhana case in prison.

According to the notification issued by the ministry on Nov 28, the accountability court concerned would sit and conduct the trial of accused in the Central Prison, Adiala.

“The federal government is pleased to accord approval that the accountability court concerned shall sit and conduct the trial of the accused (PTI chairman and former PM) and others in Central Prison, Adiala, with reference to the case regarding misuse of authority/ illegal sale of gifted state assets, etc. under Section 16(b) of NAB Ordinance, 1999,” the notification said.