IHC declares Imran Khan’s in-camera trial null and void

ISLAMABAD – The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday declared the trial court’s order in the cipher case, issued on December 14 of the previous year, null and void.

During the appeals hearing filed by the founder of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) seeking to halt the jail trial and its in-camera proceedings in the cipher case, Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb of the IHC nullified the trial court’s decision.

The court lifted its stay order on the former PTI chairman Imran Khan’s in-camera trial after Attorney General for Pakistan Mansoor Usman Awan assured that the statements of 13 witnesses would be recorded afresh.

As per the written order issued by the high court, all actions taken after December 14 in the cipher case are considered illegal.

On December 14, the special court formed under the Official Secrets Act issued an order restricting print, electronic, and social media from publishing and broadcasting proceedings related to the Cipher case.

The Cipher case centers around a diplomatic cable that the FIA alleges was not returned by the PTI founder. The PTI maintains that the document contained a threat from the US to remove the former PTI chief as the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Salman Akram Raja, representing the PTI founder, stated after the proceedings that he intends to file a plea against Special Court judge Abul Hasnat Zulqarnain for repeated errors. He emphasized the need for an open trial, suggesting it take place in jail, and expressed the intention to file a petition for a change in the judge, advocating for everyone to be allowed to attend the trial.


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