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Pak Ex-PM Imran Khan Challenges Cipher, Toshakhana Sentences

  • February 16, 2024

Pak Ex-PM Imran Khan Challenges Cipher, Toshakhana Sentences

On January 30, Imran Khan was sentenced to 10 years in prison for leaking sensitive state secrets (File)

Islamabad:

Jailed former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday separately challenged in the Islamabad High Court his sentences in the cipher and Toshakhana corruption cases.

Separate petitions have been filed before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) through Barrister Ali Zafar against Imran Khan’s sentences in the two cases. In a simultaneous development, Imran Khan’s close aide and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also challenged his conviction and sentence in the cipher case in the Islamabad High Court.

Both Imran Khan, 71, and Qureshi, 67, have been lodged at the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi.

The petition on the cipher (secret diplomatic cable) case made the state and Interior Ministry Secretary Yousaf Naseem Khokhar respondents in the case. It urged the high court to set aside the conviction and sentence and acquit him of the charges.

On January 30, Imran Khan, the founder of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, was sentenced to 10 years in prison by a special court for leaking sensitive state secrets.

The controversy first emerged on March 27, 2022, when Imran Khan – less than a month before his ouster in April 2022 – while addressing a public rally, waved a letter before the crowd, claiming that it was a cipher from a foreign nation that had conspired with his political rivals to have his government overthrown.

Imran Khan did not reveal the contents of the letter, nor did he mention the name of the nation it came from. But a few days later, he accused the US of conspiring against him and alleged that Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Affairs Donald Lu had sought his removal.

The cipher was about former Pakistan ambassador to the US Asad Majeed’s meeting with Lu.

The Toshakhana plea made the state and the accountability bureau respondents and urged the IHC to “suspend the execution of the conviction and sentence” imposed on the cricketer-turned-politician.

On January 31, Imran Khan and his wife were sentenced to 14 years in prison each for corruption on charges of illegally selling state gifts.

The petition contended that the trial court hastily passed the judgment without providing the suspect an opportunity for a fair trial.

Meanwhile, senior PTI leader Qureshi also challenged his conviction and sentence in the cipher case in the Islamabad High Court through a plea filed by his lawyers Ali Bukhari, Taimur Malik, and Salman Safdar.

The former foreign minister urged the court to set aside his conviction and acquit him of the charges of making state secrets public.

“There is not a speck of evidence that the appellant aided, abetted or facilitated the co-accused in any manner,” the petition read, adding that the complainants had failed to show how Qureshi or “any co-accused engaged in actions detrimental to national security or in aid of foreign powers.” Along with Imran Khan, Qureshi too was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison on January 30 in the cipher case, Imran Khan was also disqualified from holding any public office for 10 years. 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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