Cipher case: Special court rejects Imran Khan, Qureshi's bail pleas

Cipher case: Special court rejects Imran Khan, Qureshi's bail pleas

Islamabad (Web Desk): A special court, formed to hear cases under Special Secret Act, on Thursday rejected Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman and former premier Imran Khan and party vice chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi's bail pleas in the cipher case.

Special court Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain heard the bail pleas of the PTI leaders and reserved the verdict after PTI's counsels completed their arguments.

Imran’s lawyer Salman Safdar, Qureshi’s counsel Babar Awan, Ali Bukhari and Shoaib Shaheen and Asad Umar, through his counsel Awan, reached the Federal Judicial Complex in Islamabad to request bail for their respective clients.

Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain, who is also conducting the special court hearings, decided to take up the bail requests separately.

Later, the court announced the reserved verdict, rejecting the post-arrest bail pleas of the PTI leaders.

Earlier today, the same court approved PTI leader Asad Umar’s bail in the case related to US cipher after a prosecutor told the judge that his arrest was not required at this stage.

The court approved PTI leader's bail against the surety bond of Rs50,000.

On Wednesday, the special court, extended Imran Khan Shah Mahmood Qureshi's judicial remand till September 26.

The special court judge Abual Hasnat Muhammad Zulqarnain presided the hearing at Attock jail after the law ministry issued a notification on Tuesday, expressing no objections to conducting the trial in jail. The special court judge had requested that proceedings be held in Attock jail “due to security reasons”.

The PTI chief’s 14-day judicial remand expired on Tuesday.

Imran Khan appeared before the court alongside his legal team comprising nine lawyers, while the FIA team investigating the cipher case was also present in the jail.

Earlier, Advocate Salman Safdar in his media talk outside the jail before court proceedings, said that all applications were pending, the most important of them was for bail.

He added that the prosecution was not cooperating with the court on the bail application. “There is no justification to keep the PTI chairman in Attock Jail.”

Meanwhile, the hearing of the cipher case against PTI Vice-Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi was to be held in the judicial complex. Qureshi was presented in the court.

However, there, the court officials informed Qureshi that the judge had gone to Attock jail for a hearing and said they would ask the judge if the former minister could be allowed to return after marking his attendance.

At this, Qureshi asked the authorities why the judge had gone to Attock jail, to which he was informed that there was a hearing on Imran’s case.

Judge Zulqarnain then extended Qureshi’s judicial remand by the same period as well, directing him to be presented before the court again on September 26.

The cipher case pertains to a diplomatic cable which reportedly went missing from former premier Imran Khan’s possession.

The PTI alleges that it contained a threat from the United States (US) to oust Khan from power.