IHC Holds Decision On Imran’s NAB Trial
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has deferred its decision on Wednesday regarding PTI founder Imran Khan’s petition against a jail trial in the £190 million and Toshakhana NAB corruption cases.
The plea was presented before a two-member bench led by IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Tariq Mahmood Jahangiri.Contrary to the former premier’s plea, Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Awan informed the court that screenshots from Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube provided evidence that the media had access to the trial.
Imran Khan’s lawyer, Shoaib Shaheen, contended that there was no court order related to the jail trial. He argued that a notification was issued when the references hadn’t even been filed, asserting the evident malice.
Referring to the judge overseeing the cases, Shaheen stated that he had “left all his work, is sitting in jail only to conduct a trial in these cases.”
He emphasized that they were not opposed to a jail trial but insisted that certain parameters should be adhered to.
Following these arguments, the IHC reserved its judgment in the case.
The day before, the state’s top law officer acknowledged the possibility of a typographical error in the November 2023 notification issued by the federal government regarding the trial of former Prime Minister Imran Khan in the NAB cases inside prison.
This admission came during the hearing of Imran’s petition against his prison trial.
Shaheen asserted that the procedure for the prison trial had not been followed, citing the IHC’s order in the diplomatic cypher case. He highlighted that the IHC had invalidated the trial court’s proceedings in the cipher case as the relevant trial court judge had not issued an order for Imran Khan’s prison trial.
In response, AGP Awan argued that the IHC’s order applied only to the trial court established last year to hear cases under the Official Secrets Act, 1923, and not to accountability courts.
When asked to explain the difference between the prison trial in the current NAB cases and the cipher case, AGP Awan stated that the Official Secrets Act, 1923, lacks the 16-B provision present in the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999, which governs NAB and its cases.