In a recent development, both Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi have been indicted in the cipher case by a special court. Both politicians have pleaded not guilty in this case. The special court, acting under the Official Secrets Act, has issued a notice to summon government lawyers for a hearing scheduled for October 27th.
During a previous hearing, copies of the investigation report were provided to the suspects. The case, known as the cipher case, is being heard by Judge Abul Hasnat Zulqarnain in Adiala Jail, under the provisions of the Official Secrets Act. The legal team representing PTI is headed by Naeem Haider Panjotha, and the FIA team has presented the complete case record in court.
FIA Special Prosecutor Shah Khawar, speaking to the media outside the jail before the hearing, emphasized that the suspects needed to be indicted during the day’s proceedings. Meanwhile, it is expected that the defense side will file an application under Section 265D of the CrPC. If the suspects maintain their not guilty pleas, the court will summon 28 witnesses in sets, as stated by Shah Khawar.
In a prior hearing on October 17, PTI Chairman Imran Khan and Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi were unable to be indicted in the cipher case, although copies of the investigation report were shared with them. The special court, under the Official Secrets Act, re-distributed the copies of the investigation report among the suspects, despite objections from their lawyers.
Notably, Imran Khan has been in jail since August 5, following his arrest shortly after being declared guilty of corrupt practices in the Toshakhana case.