A special court on Tuesday ruled hearing of a cipher case against the PTI chief Imran Khan and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi will be held in Adiala Jail due to security threats.
The decision was announced by special court judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain in light of the letter submitted by the Adiala Jail superintendent citing security threats.
According to the verdict, the public, media, and family members will be allowed to attend the hearing in the jail, which will commence from December 1.
Earlier in the day, Adiala Jail authorities refused to present former prime minister and PTI chief Imran Khan and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi before the court in cipher case, citing security concerns.
Special court judge Abual Hasant resumed the hearing at the Judicial Complex after the jail trial was nullified by the Islamabad High Court. During the last hearing of the case, the special court judge had ordered the authorities to present both the PTI leaders before the court.
However, as the hearing began, Adiala Jail’s superintendent told the court in a written reply that PTI chief Imran Khan and Qureshi could not be produced in court. The superintendent said that additional security had been requested from the Islamabad police who had replied that there were serious threats to both the politicians.
The superintendent’s letter was read out in court by Federal Investigation Agency prosecutor Khawar Shah.
PTI’s lawyer Salman Safdar referred to the last hearing’s order and said that Khan would have to be brought to court today in any way possible.
The lawyer added that when the former PM had himself said that there were security concerns he was told to appear in court. He added that if there were any hurdles to bringing Imran to court, the court should be informed about them.
Court orders are being openly violated, Safdar said and asked the Adiala Jail superintendent to resign if he was unable to present the former PM before the court.
Safdar while questioning the authenticity of the threats, said there was no information about the nature of the threats by any security agency, and arguments regarding the security were ‘made in the air’ without any proof.
The judge after hearing arguments from both the sides, reserved his verdict.
The case accuses former PM Khan of illegally retaining and communicating the contents of a classified diplomatic cable sent by Pakistan’s ambassador in Washington.
The matter had first come to light when the PTI chief and former prime minister had shown the letter in a public rally in Islamabad, days before his government was removed through a no-confidence vote.