IHC seeks ‘proof’ of retention of cipher by former PM

IHC seeks 'proof' of retention of cipher by former PM

In Islamabad, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) stated that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) does not have evidence that the former prime minister kept the cipher and then lost it.

This statement was made by a division bench led by Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb during the hearing of appeals filed by the ex-PM, who is also the founder of the PTI, and his foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi against their conviction in the cipher case.

Previously, defense lawyer Barrister Salman Safdar presented a report from the foreign ministry about the distribution of copies of the secret document. The report showed that almost all recipients, including the former army chief and the chief justice, returned the copy “after a case was filed against the former prime minister.”

Special prosecutor Hamid Ali Shah explained to the court how the cipher was sent from the foreign ministry to the PM Office. Chief Justice Farooq asked if the FIA had any evidence that proved the ex-PM kept the cipher.

The chief justice inquired if there was any proof that the cipher was given to the former prime minister. The prosecutor responded that former principal secretary Azam Khan testified that it was given to the ex-PM.

Chief Justice Farooq expressed doubts about Azam Khan’s statement, calling it hearsay, and suggested that the former PM might have asked his secretary to return the cipher.

Hamid Shah mentioned that the court had reasons to believe that the ex-PM received and read the cipher, referring to mentions in speeches and a demarche sent to the US.

Chief Justice Farooq repeated his question about whether the cipher was returned. The special prosecutor reiterated that witnesses had testified under oath.

Hamid Shah added that the ex-PM admitted in a public speech and an interview with a news channel that he had the cipher in his possession.

Justice Aurangzeb commented that politicians often make such statements to rile up crowds. He asked the defense counsel to provide information about the First Information Report (FIR) filed regarding Azam Khan’s alleged abduction.

Justice Farooq instructed the defense counsel to submit a challan or discharge report in the FIR by May 2.

IHC seeks ‘proof’ of retention of cipher by former PM

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