Former Pak PM Imran Khan, ex-foreign minister Qureshi to be indicted in cipher case again on Dec 12

04 December,2023 02:20 PM IST |  Mumbai  |  mid-day online correspondent

A special court in Pakistan’s capital city Islamabad ruled on Monday that jailed former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan and ex-foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi would be indicted again on December 12 in the cipher case for allegedly leaking a diplomatic cable

File Photo/AFP


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A special court in Pakistan's capital city Islamabad ruled on Monday that jailed former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan and ex-foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi would be indicted again on December 12 in the cipher case for allegedly leaking a diplomatic cable.

The in-prison hearing of Khan, 71, and Qureshi, 67, began from the start on Saturday after a ruling by the Islamabad High Court last month declared the jail trial illegal on procedural grounds and also nullified its proceedings.

Special Court Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain issued the directive while hearing the case at the Adiala jail premises in Rawalpindi, where both the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party leaders are currently jailed, the Dawn newspaper reported.

PTI party chief Khan has been incarcerated at the high-security Adiala jail since September 26. Qureshi was also arrested in the cipher (secret diplomatic cable) case and is imprisoned in the same prison.

The hearing of the cipher case was again shifted to jail after the order by the trial judge, followed by its approval by the Cabinet and notifications issued by the Ministry of Law and Justice as required under the law.

On Monday, Judge Zulqernain adjourned the hearing till December 12 and said charges would be framed against the PTI leaders of the same day, the report said.

Family members and lawyers of the incarcerated leaders attended the hearing along with special prosecutor Zulfikar Abbas Naqvi and Rizwan Abbasi, according to the report.

Also read: Pakistan records 34 per cent increase in militant attacks in November

Six members of the media were allowed to attend the proceedings, it added.

The cipher case was launched in August this year after a case was filed against Khan for allegedly violating the Official Secrets Act by disclosing a secret diplomatic cable - called the cipher - sent by the country's embassy in Washington in March last year.

The diplomatic cable reportedly went missing from Khan's possession.

Khan and Qureshi, who had claimed that the cable contained a threat from the United States to topple the PTI's government, were indicted on October 23.

Both Khan and Qureshi have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Khan was ousted through a vote of no-confidence in April 2022. More than 150 cases have been registered against him since his ouster from power. (With inputs from PTI)

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