Pak ex-PM Imran to be indicted in cipher case on October 17


Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan will be indicted in the cipher case on October 17, a court here announced as hearing in the case officially began on Monday.
The hearing was presided over by special court Judge Abdul Hasnaat Zulqarnain. Prosecutor Zulfiqar Abbas Naqvi, Khan’s counsel Salman Safdar and his party leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s daughter and son were also present at the hearing at Adiala jail in Rawalpindi. Khan, 71, was arrested in August after a case was filed against him for allegedly violating the Official Secrets Act by disclosing a secret diplomatic cable (cipher) sent by the country’s embassy in Washington in March last year. During Monday’s hearing, copies of the chargesheet were distributed among the lawyers of Khan and his co-accused Qureshi, the former foreign minister. Prosecutor Naqvi informed the court that all the necessary copies had been provided to the court. Later, the court issued directives for all government witnesses to be summoned along with the chargesheet on October 17, the report said.
Previously, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had claimed that Khan was guilty of breaching the Official Secrets Act of 1923 and deserved to be punished as per the law.The charge sheet submitted by the FIA to a special court also accused Khan’s key ally Qureshi of facilitating the former prime minister.
The cipher case concerns a diplomatic cable, which reportedly went missing from Khan’s possession. Khan had repeatedly said before and after the no-confidence motion against him last year that the cipher pointed to a conspiracy to remove him from the prime minister’s office.
Khan was ousted through a vote of no-confidence in April 2022. He was incarcerated on August 5 this year, after an Islamabad court sentenced him to three years in prison in the Toshakhana case. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief was lodged in the Attock District Jail to serve his prison term.
Later, his sentence was suspended by the Islamabad High Court, but then he was arrested in the cipher case and remained in the Attock jail on judicial remand.