Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Saturday seeking bail in the missing cypher case, two days after a special court rejected his bail plea.
The former prime minister filed an application through his lawyer Barrister Salman Safdar, requesting the court to release him on bail. Imran is currently in Attock Jail.
The PTI chief, in his petition, stated that the prosecution filed a malicious and fabricated case. He argued that the special court, made to hear cases related to the Official Secrets Act, "completely ignored several of the prosecution's irregularities and contradictions".
A written judgment by special court judge Abdul Hasnat Zulqarnain stated that it is pertinent to note that the missing cypher case is a top-secret case, and the prosecution has “irrefutable evidence against Imran Khan and [PTI leader] Shah Mahmood Qureshi to prove their connection to the case".
The court noted that “sufficient incriminating evidence is available on record to connect the accused with the instant case”.
“[The] record further depicts that there appears reasonable grounds for believing that the accused/petitioners are guilty of the offence [under] sections 5 and 9 of the Official Secrets Act, 1923 in the light of the content of the instant FIR.
“Moreover, there are also reasonable grounds for believing that the accused/petitioners have committed a non-bailable offence. The record which is in colour of various documents is sufficient for the purpose of discarding the bails of both the accused,” said a seven-page written order.
In the order, the court also noted that despite its directives issued on September 11, the counsels for the petitioners did not make any correction in the footnote of a certificate.
“[Therefore] this court [is] left with no option but to decide the instant bail applications due to non-compliance [of the court order] as well as on merit. Hence the instant post arrest bail applications of both the accused….stand dismissed.”
It further stated that in order to avoid any prejudicial design to the safety of the state for tentative assessment in future a restriction will be imposed on unnecessary or irrelevant persons in the courtroom during hearing of the case.
The PTI counsels had expressed disappointment at the order and announced challenging it in the high court.
On March 27, 2022, before facing a vote of no-confidence, former premier Imran Khan had taken out a piece of paper - allegedly a diplomatic cypher - from his pocket and waved 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, this year 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.