‘Legal errors’: Pakistan court halts Imran Khan’s cypher case proceedings till January 11
NEW DELHI — The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday halted the proceedings of the infamous ‘cypher case’ until January 11 citing “legal errors”, media reports said.
Reports said that Justice Miangul Hasan Aurangzeb passed the short order on a petition by Imran challenging the trial.
“During the proceedings, the Attorney General of Pakistan Mansoor Awan and Additional AGP Iqbal Duggal appeared in court along with FIA’s prosecution team, while PTI counsel Salman Akram Raja attended via video link,” media reports said.
The reports said that Justice Aurangzeb asked why in-camera proceedings were being held when the court had ordered an open trial. He also said that the matter of security is not the jurisdiction of the court.
He also observed that family members and the media were allowed to attend the hearing, but a petition has once again been filed stating that the proceedings have been declared in-camera.
AGP Awan clarified that only the witness testimonies were being held in-camera and not the entirety of the trial. He elaborated that testimonies of 13 witnesses had been recorded out of 25 and two had been cross-examined.
“The defence has not cross-examined 10 witnesses,” said Awan and added that the media were not allowed after 13 witness testimonies were recorded.
Earlier in October, the FIA had submitted a list of 28 witnesses in the cypher case against Imran and Qureshi, according to a copy of the indictment.
The Supreme Court granted both PTI leaders bail in the cypher case on December 22 as there was no sufficient incriminating material to show that Imran had revealed the diplomatic document to the general public.
However, their release from Adiala jail is hindered by their involvement in other ongoing cases.
The case originated from Imran’s public display of a paper during a rally in Islamabad on March 27, 2022, claiming it as evidence of an “international conspiracy” before a vote of no-confidence led to his government’s ouster.