A special court, formed to hear cases related to the Official Secrets Act, extended the judicial remand of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi until October 10 in the cypher case.
Judge Abul Hasnat Zulqarnain presided over the in-camera hearing on Tuesday which took place at Attock jail. A day prior to the hearing, the law ministry had issued a no-objection certificate (NOC) for the hearing to be held at the jail premises.
During the hearing, the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) team was present as well as Imran’s lawyers Salman Safdar and Umair Niazi. The former prime minister’s lawyers Naeem Haider Panjotha and Latif Khosa also reached the jail to attend the hearing.
Subsequently, the court ordered for the judicial remand of Imran to be extended till October 10. The judge also ordered the FIA to submit a challan of the case at the earliest.
Read Imran, Qureshi denied bail in cypher case
Meanwhile, Qureshi was presented before the special court at the Federal Judicial Complex (FJC) in Islamabad.
Like Imran, the court informed the PTI stalwart that his judicial remand in the cypher case has been extended till October 10.
Two weeks ago, a special court rejected the post-arrest bail applications of Imran and Qureshi in the diplomatic cypher case, noting that “sufficient incriminating evidence is available on record to connect the accused with the instant case”.
Following that, Imran filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) for a post-arrest bail in the cypher case.
On March 27, 2022, before facing a vote of no-confidence, former premier Imran had taken out a piece of paper – allegedly a diplomatic cypher – from his pocket and displayed it at a public gathering in Islamabad, claiming it was evidence of an “international conspiracy” to topple his government.
The FIA initiated its probe into the so-called “cypher-gate” on July 19 after the PML-N-led coalition government announced an official inquiry against the former PM and his close associates for violating the Official Secrets Act, 1923 for illegal possession of the classified document public.
The agency arrested Qureshi, who had served as the country’s foreign minister during the PTI’s rule, on August 19. An FIA Counter Terrorism Wing team interrogated Imran on August 26 inside Attock Jail in connection with the case. The agency announced Imran’s arrest on August 29 – right after his three-year jail sentence was suspended in the Toshakhana case.