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Pak court extends Imran Khan’s remand in cipher case till Sept 13



ISLAMABAD: A special court established to try Pakistan former prime minister Imran Khan under the Official Secrets Act of 1923 extended on Wednesday his judicial remand for two weeks — till September 13 — on charges of leaking state secrets.
Anti-terrorism court (ATC) judge Abual Hasnat Muhammad Zulqarnain conducted the hearing of the cipher case at Attock Jail, where Imran has been incarcerated since August 5 following his arrest in the Toshakhana (treasure house for state gifts) case.
The cipher case is related to the “misuse” of the alleged content of a diplomatic cable, cited by Imran Khan as proof of an attempt by the US to topple his government.
Khan and his former foreign minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, have been charged under the Official Secrets Act with making public the contents of a confidential diplomatic cable sent by Pakistan’s ambassador to the US and using it for political gain.
After the Islamabad high court had suspended on Tuesday Khan’s sentence in the Toshakhana case, the special court had directed Attock jail authorities to keep Khan in “judicial lockup” and produce him before it on August 30 (Wednesday).
During Wednesday’s hearing, the court extended the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief’s remand in the cipher case till September 13.
The PTI chief, according to his counsels, was brought before the court for attendance after which the court proceeded to extend his judicial remand.
A post-arrest bail application was also filed by the PTI chairman’s legal team. Khan’s lawyers argued that there is no legitimate Official Secrets Act case against Imran and that the entire matter had been concocted for political revenge.
Meanwhile, Khan approached the Islamabad HC challenging the law ministry’s notification to transfer the court to Attock jail.
In his plea, Imran, through his lawyer Sher Afzal Marwat, stated that the law ministry’s notification transferring the case to Attock jail was “illegal” and requested the Islamabad HC to quash it.
He also challenged the authority of Islamabad’s ATC judge Zulqarnain to hear cases registered under the Official Secrets Act.
According to the application, the judge does “not meet even the basic qualification criteria required in this case”.
The law secretary, interior secretary, chief commissioner, Islamabad police chief, Federal investigation Agency director-general, special court judge Zulqarnain and superintendents of Adiala and Attock jails were made respondents in the case.

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