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Special Court orders open trial of Imran Khan in cipher case in Adiala Jail

Despite this, the court made a crucial ruling that the proceedings would take place in an open court setting.

ISLAMABAD: Tuesday saw a significant development in the cipher case as a special court issued an order to relocate the trial back to the jail premises.

Despite this, the court made a crucial ruling that the proceedings would take place in an open court setting.

During today’s hearing, Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi were personally summoned, but the jail authorities expressed security concerns, preventing the two leaders from appearing in court.

In a reserved verdict, Judge Abu Alhasnaat Zulqurnain decided to hold the trial within the jail due to government-reported security risks.

However, he also mandated that the media and five members from each accused individual’s family would be permitted to observe the trial.

Earlier, security measures were heightened at the Judicial Complex anticipating a significant turnout of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf workers and lawyers.

However, the superintendent of Adiala Jail conveyed in writing that due to serious threats, the politicians couldn’t be brought to court. This information was relayed by Federal Investigation Agency prosecutor Khawar Shah.

PTI’s lawyer, Salman Safdar, referred to the previous hearing’s directive, insisting on Khan’s presence in court despite security concerns.

Safdar highlighted that even when Khan himself acknowledged security risks, he was instructed to attend court. He urged the court to be informed if there were any obstacles to Imran’s appearance.

Subsequently, Judge Zulqurnain reserved the decision after hearing the arguments. Had Khan been brought to court, it would have marked his first public appearance since his arrest in the Toshakhana case on August 5.

Notably, all earlier hearings in the cipher case were conducted within the jail premises, which was initially in Attock and later in Adiala. However, the Islamabad High Court had invalidated the jail-based trial on November 22.

As a result, the recent cipher case hearing was held in an open court, and Judge Abu Alhasnaat Zulqurnain directed Khan and Qureshi to appear on November 28.

The case alleges that former PM Khan unlawfully retained and shared classified diplomatic cable contents from Pakistan’s Washington ambassador.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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