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Updated December 22nd, 2023 at 15:27 IST

Imran Khan, Shah Mehmood Qureshi get bail in Cipher case

Former Prime Minister of Pakistan and the country's former Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi gets bail in the infamous Cipher case.

Former Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan
Former Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan | Image:AP
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Islamabad: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Friday approved the bail petition of Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan and ex-Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the infamous Cipher case. According to Pakistani news outlet Dawn, the apex court approved the bail petition of both Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leaders and asked them to submit the surety bomb worth PKR 1 million each. As per the reports, the order was issued by a three-member bench which was headed by Justice Sardar Tariq Masood and comprised of  Justices Athar Minallah and Syed Mansoor Ali Shah. The bail petition was filed by Khan's party. 

The case was heard by the Supreme Court after the PTI leaders were indicted in the case yet again by the special court established under the Official Secrets Act 2023. The two were indicted after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) declared their jail trial null and void. Ever since the case went to court, both Pakistani politicians pleaded not guilty to their involvement in the case. In the Cipher Case, the prosecutors accused both Khan and Qureshi of the alleged misuse of diplomatic cable for political purposes. 

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What happened during the hearing? 

During the Friday court proceedings, the apex court heard PTI's petition against Khan and Qureshi's October 23 indictments. After the petition was read, Justice Masood remarked that the indictment that was challenged was already nullified by the Islamabad High Court on November 21, Geo News reported. He noted that because of this particular reason,  

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Former Prime Minister of Pakistan and the country's former Foreign Minister Shah Khan and Qureshi’s Oct 23 indictments in the case also stood null and void. While the court postponed the hearing on the petition against the indictment case, the three justices began hearing arguments on the bail pleas. During the hearing, Khan's lawyers noted that 40 attempts were made to arrest the former Pakistani Prime Minister in Islamabad. 

When it comes to Qureshi's plea Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) prosecutor argued that notice hasn't been issued in this regard. After hearing this argument, the court issued notice to the federation on Qureshi's bail petition. Khan's counsel went on to reprimand the body over their conduct towards the cricketer-turned-politician. "The FIA remained silent in the case for seven months and then arrested the PTI leader as soon as he [Imran Khan] was granted bail in the Toshakhana case," the counsel told the bench, Geo News reported. 

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What is the Cipher Case?

The Cipher case revolves around a diplomatic document that the Federal Investigation Agency’s charge sheet alleged was never returned to the authority by the former Prime Minister of Pakistan. The PTI has long held that the document contained a threat to the ousted Prime Minister from the United States. In light of this, the former Pakistani premier and his aide were first indicted in the case on October 23. While the two politicians pleaded not guilty, the trial of the case commenced in the Adiala Jail, where Khan and Qureshi are imprisoned. As of now, four witnesses have recorded their statements in the case, Dawn News reported. 

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Published December 22nd, 2023 at 14:36 IST

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