• Qureshi produced in court amid heavy security.
  • FIA sought Qureshi’s 9-day remand from court.
  • Judge conducts hearing under Official Secrets Act

 


 

ISLAMABAD: A special court in Islamabad Friday extended Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s physical remand by three days in the cipher case.

The development, sources told Geo News, came after the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) sought a nine-day physical remand of the PTI leader for further investigation into the cipher case pertaining to the alleged misuse of classified document for political purposes by the previous Imran Khan-led government.

Judge Abual Hasnat was conducting an in-camera hearing of the case in the special court, which was recently established under the Official Secrets Act — approved by the parliament earlier this month amid immense opposition by lawmakers.

Qureshi was produced at the judicial complex, heavily secured by the Frontier Corps and Islamabad Police personnel, after he was arrested by the FIA on August 20.

The PTI senior leader was represented by his counsel Shoaib Shaheen, who opposed Qureshi’s physical remand by the FIA.

The special prosecutor for the cipher case, Zulfiqar Naqvi had sought a nine-day remand of the PTI leader, however, the judge remanded Qureshi into FIA’s custody for three days.

According to a report by The News, the trial of PTI Chairman Imran Khan and his deputy Qureshi in the cipher case, under the Official Secrets Act, is expected to start within a fortnight.

Official sources said the FIA is trying to complete the challan by next week for the initiation of trial in the recently formed special court. The FIA has already arrested both Khan and Qureshi in the case.

The PTI vice chairman has been in the agency’s custody’s since August 19. He was later remanded by the special court in FIA’s custody for four days till August 25.

Khan, on the other hand, was arrested in the same case during his imprisonment in Attock jail in the Toshakhana case. The JIT, formed to probe the cipher case, interrogated the former premier in the Attock Jail, after which he told the joint invetsigation team about losing the cipher’s cop.

The JIT interrogation pertains to the diplomatic cipher which reportedly went missing from Imran’s custody and which he had for long presented as evidence of a “foreign conspiracy” to remove him as the prime minister.

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