A special court in Pakistan announced that the trial of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the cipher case would be conducted in Adiala Jail. Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain, overseeing Khan’s trial, stated this decision was made based on a security report from the superintendent of Adiala Jail.
The court also specified that the proceedings are open to the public, including journalists, and that five family members of each suspect can attend.
In today’s hearing, the Adiala jail authorities failed to produce Khan before the special court, citing security risks. The non-compliance occurred despite the Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) nullification of the August 29 notification for a jail trial and an earlier order to present him at the Federal Judicial Complex (FJC).
Khan and Qureshi, indicted under the Official Secrets Act 1923, are currently in Adiala jail. The case revolves around a diplomatic cable allegedly missing from Khan’s possession, which the PTI claims contained threats from the United States.
Proceedings and Legal Representations
In the recent hearing, Salman Safdar represented Khan, while Ali Bukhari represented Qureshi. The Federal Investigation Authority’s (FIA) prosecutors, Shah Khawar and Zulfikar Abbas Naqvi, were also present.
Khan’s lawyer, Safdar, criticized the security report preventing Khan’s court appearance and questioned why Qureshi was not presented in court if only Khan faced security risks. Judge Zulqarnain, acknowledging these concerns, stated he would issue an appropriate order, emphasizing the importance of public and media access to the court proceedings. The court has reserved its order on the jail report and adjourned the hearing until December 1.