Cipher Case: Imran, Qureshi's indictment adjourned till October 23

Cipher Case: Imran, Qureshi's indictment adjourned till October 23

Rawalpindi (Web Desk): Special Court on Tuesday adjourned the indictment of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman and former premier Imran Khan and party's vice chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi in cipher case till October 23.

Judge Abul Hasnat Zulqarnain of special court, established under the Official Secrets Act, proceeded the hearing of the cipher case in Adiala Jail, Rawalpindi.

Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) special prosecutor, Shah Khawar and Chairman PTI and vice chairman PTI appeared before the court along with their legal team for the hearing. 

At the previous hearing, the prosecution could not take place because accused lawyers refused to to receive the copies of the challan submitted by the FIA. 

However, the copies of challans submitted by the FIA against the PTI leaders were provided to the accused in today's hearing, and then Special Court Judge adjourned the hearing of the case till next week (October 23).

In previous hearing on October 9, the court issued copies of challans (charge sheet) submitted by the FIA against the PTI leaders and shared them with the accused, while their date of indictment was fixed to take place on October 17 (today). 

"The accused had refused to receive a copy of the challan at the previous hearing," the FIA special prosecutor said.

Before the hearing, speaking to media outside the Adiala jail, PTI chief's focal person on legal affairs, Umair Niazi, said that the copies of the challans were not provided in the previous hearing. 

He also said that the prosecution's Section 14 plea was not allowed by the court.

It is pertinent to mention that the Islamabad High Court (IHC), a day earlier disposed of PTI chief's petition against his jail trial in cipher case.

The court said apparently there was no malafide intention in conducting trial of PTI chief in jail.

IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq announced the reserved verdict on Imran Khan’s petition challenging the Law Ministry’s notification to hold former premier's trial in jail.

On September 30, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) submitted a challan, a charge sheet, in the Special Court established under the Official Secrets Act, citing the former prime minister and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi as the principal accused in the cipher case. Later, on August 18, the former prime minister was booked under the Official Secrets Act 1923 in the cipher case after the FIA invoked Section 5 of the said law.