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Supreme Court grants Imran Khan, Qureshi bail in the cypher case

Monitoring Desk

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) granted bail to former prime minister Imran Khan and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Friday in the cypher case.
The bails have been granted against a surety bond of Rs100,000.
A three-member bench of the SC comprising acting Chief Justice Sardar Tariq Masood, Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Mansoor Ali Shah.
Imran Khan, the PTI’s founder, had approached the apex court for a bail relief in the case after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) rejected his post arrest bail application on October 27.
It is pertinent to note that the bail in cypher case will not result in the former premier being released from jail. Imran is currently under judicial remand in the £190 million case, and also under arrest in the Toshakhana case.
The cypher case is related to a piece of paper that Imran had waved at a public rally last year ahead of a vote of confidence that he lost. The former premier, later naming the US, had claimed that the cypher was ‘evidence’ of an ‘international conspiracy’ to topple his government.
Last week, on December 13, a special court established under the Official Secrets Act once again indicted former premier Imran Khan and ex-foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the cypher case – dealing a fresh blow to ex-PTI chairman’s chances of contesting Pakistan’s general election in February.
Judge Abul Hasnat Zulqarnain read out the two-page charge-sheet under the Official Secrets Act, outlining three distinct charges against the defendants.
The court ruled that both Imran, in his capacity as prime minister, and Shah Mehmood Qureshi, as foreign minister, breached the Official Secrets Act.
The charge-sheet stated that both accused publicly flaunted a classified document during a rally on March 27, 2022, exploiting it for personal gain in a deliberate manner, highlighting that the unlawful actions harmed the nation’s reputation, security, and diplomatic affairs
The former premier and Qureshi were first indicted in the case on October 23, where both the PTI leaders had pleaded not guilty to the charges. However, on November 21, the IHC declared the trial “illegal” on grounds that the governemnt’s notification regarding holding the trial in-camera was without lawful authority.
Four witnesses had recorded their statements in the case when the IHC scrapped the entire proceedings of the case, ordering the special court to start the trial afresh.