Rawalpindi: The Special Court of Official Secrets Act Tuesday pronounced the verdict in the cypher case and said that in the light of security report of Superintendent Adiala Jail, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan's trial will be held in Adiala Jail.
According to the details, the Official Secrets Act court pronounced a protective decision regarding whether to produce Chairman and Vice-Chairman of PTI in the court or not in the cypher case.
Official Secret Act Special Court Judge Abul Hasnat Muhammad Zulqarnain heard the cypher case in the judicial complex of Islamabad.
On this occasion, Chairman PTI's lawyer Salman Safdar, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Prosecutor Shah Khawar and Zulfiqar Abbas, sisters of Chairman PTI and Shah Mahmood Qureshi's daughter also reached the court.
Lawyer Salman Safdar said that two different cases are in the court today. It was hoped that the PTI chief chairman would be presented, however it did not happen. This is a record case as no case ever proceeds with such speed.
Meanwhile, Judge Abul Hasnat directed the court staff to present the record of the case.
Jail authorities letter to court
Superintendent Adiala Jail wrote a letter to the court which was read by FIA Special Prosecutor Shah Khawar.
The letter stated that PTI Chief cannot be produced in the court due to security concerns. Islamabad Police has been written a letter for additional security as Khan has serious security concerns.
Superintendent Adiala Jail also attached the report of Islamabad Police with the jail report.
Salman Safadr’s objection
Responding to the letter of Superintendent of Adiala Jail, the lawyer said that neither terrorists are in Islamabad nor any terrorism incident took place in the capital. Chairman PTI will have to appear in the court today. Following the report of which intelligence agencies, the Superintendent of Adiala Jail did not appear to the Chairman PTI. I have appeared in court with Imran Khan in 50 to 60 cases.
Salman Safdar added that what kind of sabotage has taken place that Imran was not brought to the court. ‘I had seen signs since the morning that he shall not be brought. The superintendent of Jail has acted against the Islamabad High Court (IHC) and your decision.
He appealed that if there are security threats, then the hearing of this case should be postponed for an indefinite period.
Appeal to present Shah Mehmood Qureshi in court
Meanwhile, Shah Mehmood Qureshi's lawyer Ali Bukhari argued that FIA prosecutor Shah Khawar has read the letter of the jail superintendent, why Shah Mehmood Qureshi has not been produced yet?
Ali Bukhari plead Shah Mehmood Qureshi to be produced in the court stating that this is an open trial and the accused must be produced in the court. It is the responsibility of the court to produce the accused and if court orders are not followed you hold the power to send the state official to the jail.
After the arguments of Shah Mehmood Qureshi's lawyer were completed, Judge Abul Hasnat Zulqarnain remarked that the court will make an appropriate order.
He also inquired if the court had summon the accused to which the FIA prosecutor replied that the court had summoned the accused.
The FIA prosecutor said: “The trial could be conducted in jail if all legal requirements were met”. Jail officials told the court with documentary evidence that they could not present them on the basis of security concerns.
Judge Abul Hasnat Zulqarnain remarked: “It does not matter to the court where the trial will take place, the court wants to do what it wants to do for those who want to see the trial, they will not compromise on the application of Section 352”.
Ali Bukhari inquired that there is no correspondence to the extent of Shah Mahmood, why was he not produced?
Salman Safdar Advocate inquired as to what incident happened here, from which there is any threat. Every day terrorists are brought from Adiala Jail, now either they should be presented or action should be taken against those responsible.
The FIA prosecutor stated that the relevant Inspector General (IG) should be summoned if the court order is not implemented, it is not the job of the FIA prosecutor to give explanations. We have nothing to do with the correspondence between the law enforcement agencies and the jail superintendent.
Meanwhile, the court reserved the decision after the arguments of the parties. Judge Abul Hasanat remarked that he will pass the order in this regard.
Later, the court gave a protective verdict that in the light of security report of Superintendent Adiala Jail, there will be a trial in the jail which will be open. Media, public and five family members of each accused will also be allowed to participate. The next hearing of cypher case will be held on Friday in Adiala Jail.
It is pertinent to note that the court had ordered to produce Chairman PTI and Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
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