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The appeals submitted by PTI founder and Qureshi have been deemed maintainable by IHC

Islamabad: IHC announced on Wednesday that the appeals submitted by ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan and former Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi regarding their convictions in the cipher case will be considered valid. The court has scheduled the presentation of arguments by both the prosecution and defense counsel to commence on Monday.

A division bench led by Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb continued the proceedings on the appeals concerning Mr. Khan and Mr. Qureshi’s convictions and 10-year sentences in the cipher case.

In the previous session, special prosecutor Hamid Ali Shah argued against the validity of Mr. Khan and Mr. Qureshi’s appeals. He highlighted that the Official Secrets Act, enacted in 1923, lacked provisions for appealing after the trial process had concluded.

Initially, it was stated that the conviction was final due to the absence of an appeal provision in the trial court’s decision. However, Barrister Salman Safdar, representing Mr. Khan, proposed that if the law didn’t include an appeal right, the court would consider this as a precedent-setting case.

He explained that the former prime minister and foreign minister were convicted under the same law applied for prosecuting espionage suspects. Safdar further argued that superior courts have consistently ruled that convicts cannot be left without remedies. He pointed out that while the high treason case didn’t allow appeals, the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act of 1976 provided the Supreme Court as the forum for appeal.

Ultimately, the bench determined that the appeals were valid and decided to proceed with a thorough examination of the case.

Imran is apprehensive about the practice of horse-trading

Imran Khan recently expressed his apprehensions regarding possible vote-buying in the forthcoming Senate elections. He pledged to take the matter to the Supreme Court, accusing alleged electoral manipulation in the previous general elections.

Following a hearing in a £190 million corruption case where he and his spouse, Bushra Bibi, are being prosecuted by the accountability court of Islamabad, the former prime minister claimed that parliamentarians’ votes would be for sale in the upcoming upper house election. He characterized these elections as fraudulent and detrimental to the institutions’ reputation.

Despite the PTI’s inability to conduct their election campaign, Mr. Khan highlighted the people’s voting power. However, he lamented that the people’s mandate was disregarded and stolen. The PTI leader promised to continue peaceful protests against the alleged rigged elections and cautioned that Pakistan could face a similar crisis as Sri Lanka experienced after defaulting on its financial obligations.

Court Hearing for Responsibility and Judgment:

In the trial of a £190 million corruption case, Judge Nasir Javed Rana heard the testimonies of three witnesses and scheduled the next court date for March 16th. Among the individuals involved in this case are Mr. Khan, Bushra Bibi, prominent property tycoon Malik Riaz, his son Ahmed Ali Riaz, former accountability chief Mirza Shahzad Akbar, Farhat Shahzadi (also known as Farah Khan), and Zulfi Bukhari. With the exception of Mr. Khan and Bushra Bibi, the remaining accused have been categorized as proclaimed offenders.

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