Imran Khan, Shah Mahmood get bail in Cipher case

Imran Khan, Shah Mahmood get bail in Cipher case

On Friday, the Supreme Court let former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan and party vice chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi go free after being arrested in the cipher case as long as they put up Rs 1 million in security bonds.

A bench of three people, led by acting Chief Justice Sardar Tariq Masood and comprising Justice Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Athar Minallah, conducted the hearing.

The PTI founder and vice chairman were charged again in the cipher case on December 13 by a special court set up under the Official Secrets Act 2023. This was after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) threw out their jail trial.

In response to the charge that they used a diplomatic cable for political reasons, both politicians have pleaded not guilty.

The High court heard the plea against imran Khan and Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s October 23 indictment today while the case was still going on.

Justice Masood stated at the beginning of the meeting that the IHC had already thrown out the questioned indictment on November 21.

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As a result, the court dismissed Khan and Qureshi’s charges from October 23, leading to a retrial.

Justice Masood stated that the IHC’s rejection of the previous procedures would not impact the new indictment.

At this point, Hamid Khan, the lawyer for the former prime minister, said that the hearing was based on the old charge sheet.

Justice Masood said that the plea against the old charge sheet is no longer valid. The judge told the lawyer, “If you don’t agree with the new indictment, you should fight it in the high court.” 

Hamid then asked the court to wait for the IHC’s decision today on whether or not to hold the cipher case trial behind closed doors.

Khan’s other lawyer, Barrister Salman Safdar, said that Hamid had changed his pleas and asked the court to consider them as new ones.

The court then put off hearing the plea against the charges and turned to the bail applications.

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