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Legal Representatives Assigned For Imran Khan , Qureshi In Cypher Case

Legal Representatives Assigned For Imran, Qureshi In Cypher Case

The special court designated for cases falling under the Official Secrets Act took action on Saturday by appointing state counsels for former Prime Minister Imran Khan and former Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

This decision was announced by Judge Abul Hasnat Muhammad Zulqarnain after the legal representatives for the accused failed to attend court proceedings on the preceding Friday.

Read more: Trial Of Imran Khan, Qureshi In Cypher Case Resumes At Adiala

The previous day’s hearing faced disruption due to the absence of the counsels, and despite a scheduled resumption at noon, they did not appear.

In consideration of the circumstances, the court highlighted that it had provided ample opportunities for the accused’s legal representation to be present. However, with no senior lawyer appearing for Imran or Qureshi, the court opted to appoint state defense counsel.

An email request seeking the same was forwarded to the Attorney General Islamabad’s office, asking for a list of lawyers capable of representing the accused as state counsel.

The AG’s office responded via letter, identifying the lawyers who will now serve as the legal representatives for Imran and Qureshi in the cypher case. Advocate Malik Abdul Rahman has been appointed to represent Imran, while Advocate Hazrat Younus will represent Qureshi.

Both advocates are tasked with presenting the case on behalf of the accused and conducting cross-examinations of witnesses. The appointed counsels are scheduled to present their arguments on January 27.

The cypher case originated from Imran Khan’s public display of a paper during a rally in Islamabad on March 27, 2022, where he claimed it was evidence of an “international conspiracy” before a vote of no-confidence led to the ousting of his government.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) initiated an investigation into the so-called “cypher-gate” on July 19, 2023, after the previous coalition government officially launched an inquiry against the former prime minister and his close associates for allegedly violating the Official Secrets Act.

Imran Khan was arrested on August 5, following his conviction in the Toshakhana case by a local court in Islamabad. Subsequently, he was also arrested in the cypher case on August 29.

As outlined in the challan papers, both Imran and Qureshi face charges under sections 5 and 9 of the Official Secrets Act, which carry the possibility of the death penalty or life imprisonment.

Initially, the cypher trial commenced within the confines of Adiala jail, but an Islamabad High Court division bench later nullified those proceedings, directing a fresh open-court trial.