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IHC to hear Imran Khan’s bail plea in cipher case in open court

ISLAMABAD – The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday announced that the hearing on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan’s bail plea in the cipher case registered under the Official Secrets Act will be conducted in an open court.

The IHC had reserved its verdict earlier this week on the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) plea, which sought an in-camera hearing for Imran Khan’s bail application in the cipher case.

According to the verdict delivered today, the IHC has scheduled an open court hearing on the bail petition for October 9. However, the court has decided that arguments by lawyers regarding documents deemed sensitive will be heard in-camera.

The FIA had requested the IHC for an in-camera hearing on Khan’s bail plea in the cipher case on Monday, expressing concerns that an open court hearing could potentially harm Pakistan’s diplomatic relations with other nations if sensitive matters were discussed publicly.

FIA Special Prosecutor Shah Khawar had argued that, under the Official Secrets Act, a trial cannot be made public and indicated they would make a similar plea in the trial court. He emphasized that certain statements and information must remain confidential, including statements related to other countries.

Imran Khan’s lawyer, Salman Safdar, had opposed the FIA’s request for an in-camera hearing.

Last month, Imran Khan filed a bail application in the IHC following his arrest in the cipher case. A special court, established under the Official Secrets Act, is overseeing the case against Imran Khan and his party’s Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi. The special court had previously rejected their post-arrest bail applications.

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