Pak: Islamabad High Court stays trial against Imran Khan in cipher case

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Islamabad [Pakistan], November 14: The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday halted trial proceedings against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman and former prime minister, Imran Khan, in the cipher case till November 16.
A two-member bench of Justice Mian Gul Hassan Aurangzeb and Justice Saman Raffat announced the stay order on Imran Khan’s plea.
Earlier this month, Khan moved to the Supreme Court seeking post-arrest bail in the cipher case, according to The News International.
In his 18-page bail plea, the PTI chief challenged the Islamabad High Court’s verdict against halting the proceedings against him in the case, as it dismissed his petitions and allowed interrogation.
The PTI chairman was represented by Salman Akram Raja while Deputy Attorney General Arshad Kiani appeared on behalf of the government, reported ARY News.
Moreover, Justice Aurangzeb said the notifications issued by the federal government for the jail trial seemed to be prima facie against high court rules.
He added that many questions need to be answered about the trial.
Meanwhile, the judge, too, stated that while the chief justice of the IHC had been consulted, a special court was created through an executive order.
The attorney general said the federal cabinet had approved the jail trial in the cipher case and the notification would be presented in court.
The IHC Judge also stated that the federal cabinet had only approved the jail trial two days ago, raising question marks on the status of the trial. He also demanded to know the circumstances under which the decision for jail trial was taken.
However, the court later issued a stay order against his jail trial of the cipher case till November 16.
The case, also known as ‘ciphergate’, came to light on March 27, 2022, when Khan, just weeks before his ouster in April 2022, waved a letter during a public rally.
Holding aloft what he called a cipher, the former PM alleged that a foreign power conspired with his political rivals to overthrow the PTI government.
However, he did not disclose the letter’s contents or the nation it originated from.
A few days later, he accused the US of conspiring against him, alleging that Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Affairs, Donald Lu, had sought his removal.
The cipher allegedly pertained to a meeting between Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US, Asad Majeed, and Lu.

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