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Imran Khan’s Judicial Remand in Cipher Case Extended Until September 26 by Special Court

13-09-2023 : The judicial remand of former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in the cipher case has been extended until September 26 by a special court. This court, newly formed to handle cases related to the Official Secrets Act of 1923, conducted the hearing within Attock Jail, where Khan is currently incarcerated.

Former Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi was also brought to court following the completion of his 14-day judicial remand.

Imran Khan, the 70-year-old Chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, has been in custody since August 5 due to his conviction in the Toshakhana corruption case. Although the Islamabad High Court suspended his sentence on August 29, he remains in Attock prison due to the cipher case.

Khan faces charges of violating the Official Secrets Act in relation to the leakage of a confidential diplomatic cable from Pakistan’s embassy in Washington.

The special court extended Khan’s remand until September 26, as announced by Khan’s PTI party via WhatsApp.

Qureshi’s judicial remand was also extended until September 26.

On Tuesday, the law ministry issued a notification expressing no objections to conducting the trial in jail, citing security reasons. The special court judge, Abul Hasnat Zulqarnain, had requested that proceedings take place in Attock jail due to security concerns.

However, Khan’s spokesperson, Zulfiqar Bukhari, rejected this request and called for a trial in a normal courtroom environment. He criticized the decision to proceed with the hearing in the prison, stating that it was a baseless excuse and that video link appearances could be arranged.

Bukhari also noted that the authorities had not awaited the outcome of the case heard by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) regarding Khan’s trial location. The IHC had reserved its order on a petition challenging Khan’s trial in prison rather than in Islamabad, with Chief Justice Aamer Farooq stating that he would pass an appropriate order.

The cipher case against Khan was filed last month, alleging that he violated the country’s secret laws in connection with a cable sent by the Pakistan embassy in Washington in March of the previous year.