Cipher, Toshakhana cases: IHC issues notice to NAB, FIA on Imran, Bushra's pleas

Awais Yousafzai
February 26, 2024

High court also seeks spy agency’s reply over ex-FM Qureshi’s plea against 10-year sentence in cipher case

Former prime minister Imran Khan along with his wife Bushra Bibi signs surety bonds for bail in various cases, at the registrar's office in the Lahore High Court on July 17, 2023. — AFP


ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has issued notices to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to seek their replies by Thursday (February 29) over incarcerated Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan, his wife Bushra Bibi, and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi's pleas challenging their sentences in cipher and Toshakhana cases.

The IHC’s two-member division bench comprising Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mian Gul Hassan Aurangzeb conducted the hearing on Khan, and co-convict Qureshi’s pleas seeking the overturning of their 10-year sentences pronounced by the trial courts in the cipher case.

The IHC office also removed objections to an appeal submitted by the disqualified prime minister.

Additionally, notices have been issued to the anti-corruption watchdog for Thursday over Khan and Bushra’s pleas against their 14-year, each, imprisonment in the Toshakhana case.

At the outset of the hearing, PTI counsel Barrister Ali Zafar argued that unusual occurrences were witnessed during the trial.

The chief justice remarked that the counsel should point out disagreements at the time of raising arguments during the hearing.

It is noteworthy to mention here that in the previous hearing, a bench was also constituted to hear the bail application of Imran Khan in the £190 million corruption case.

Last month, ex-PM Khan and former foreign minister Qureshi were sentenced to 10 years, each, in the cipher case by a special court established under the Official Secrets Act 2023.

The case pertains to allegations that the former prime minister had made public contents of a secret cable sent by the country's ambassador in Washington to the government in Islamabad.

The former premier and his spouse had been declared guilty of corrupt practices by the election commission after the emergence of the allegations that Khan purchased the gifts he received as prime minister at throwaway rates and sold them off in the open market for staggering profits.

Later, the duo was sentenced to 14 years in prison with rigorous punishment by an accountability court last month, also disqualifying the former premier for 10 years while handing over a fine of Rs1.57 billion — Rs787 million each — to the couple.


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