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Cipher case: FIA prosecutor admits Khan’s statement regarding threat to his govt was true

By News Desk

May 21, 2024 07:47 PM


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Islamabad High Court bench comprising Chief Justice IHC Amir Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Tuesday heard the review petition of former prime minister Imran Khan and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi against their sentences in the Cipher Case, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

FIA Prosecutor Hamid Ali Shah on the occasion submitted more audio and video proofs of experts against the petitioners.

The IHC questioned whether the trial court depended on these audio and video proofs.

Hamid Ali Shah contended that the trial court only discussed this in its judgment. FIA Prosecutor said that the PTI founder made cipher public and he admitted this fact.

On this Chief Justice Amir Farooq questioned the prosecutor “does mere sharing information constitute a crime”?

“Yes, that too becomes a crime”, FIA prosecutor Hamid Ali Shah contended, adding that the action of the founder PTI harmed national security.

FIA prosecutor claimed that other countries benefited from the irresponsible actions of the PTI chief.

The prosecutor told the IHC that cipher information could be shared with only nine people. PTI founder received cipher copy on March 9 and made it public on March 27. The prosecutor alleged that Imran Khan manipulated cipher text for personal gains.

“The court doesn't have the cipher document, then how can we compare”, Chief Justice told the prosecutor.

“A man is admitting that it's a cipher and that I'm doing it”, the FIA prosecutor said.

“Tell me what was the text of the cipher?”, Chief Justice Amir Farooq asked the prosecutor. "IHC and the trial court don’t know the text of the cipher," Chief Justice Amir Farooq said.

The prosecutor said that the cipher was not produced in trial court being a confidential document.

The “document could have been produced by taking out the unrelated persons from the court”, Justice Miangul Hasan said.

IHC Chief Justice Amir Farooq questioned whether the secret document could not be produced in court.

Has the head of any institution said that this is a confidential document and it will not be produced in court? asked Chief Justice.

He further questioned the prosecutor that “the cipher was presented before the FIA, why was it not presented in the court?”

The court did not ask, replied FIA prosecutor Hamid Ali Shah.

Why should the court demand, that the prosecution must have presented the cipher document in the court, Chief Justice Amir Farooq questioned the FIA counsel.

“If we say that we want to see the cipher, what will we do?” Chief Justice Amir Farooq questioned FIA counsel.

“We will produce in the court”, replied FIA prosecutor Hamid Shah.

“You are walking on a dangerous path”, Justice Miangul replied to the prosecutor’s remarks.

“They can bring the document only to show the court”, the FIA prosecutor said.

“If the court cannot write in the decision about cipher document, then there was no need to look into it?” Chief Justice remarked.

Justice Miangul Hassan told the prosecutor that he had two questions. The decision of demarche was made on the text of the cipher and the text of the cipher was terrible for Pakistan, it was not a love letter on which it was demarched, Justice Miangul Hasan said.

Justice Miangul Hassan further questioned the FIA prosecutor that what was the information in the cipher that was manipulated by the PTI founder.

The prosecutor was further questioned by the court that the PTI founder had said that “it was described in the cipher that if he was not removed, the consequences will have to be borne!”

This was the text of the cipher that there will be consequences if the founder PTI is not removed?, questioned Justice Miangul Hasan.

Are you saying that what the PTI founder said was right? Justice Miangul Hasan questioned. Was the PTI founder telling the truth? Justice Miangul Hasan questioned the prosecutor.

Justice Miangul questioned the FIA prosecutor: “You are saying that the text of the cipher told by PTI founder was correct”, Justice Miangul Hassan further questioned the prosecutor that “If he (Imran Khan) was conveyed about the toppling of his government, then why he had not been provided with the information? Justice Miangul Hasan questioned.

Because “the document was confidential”, FIA prosecutor Hamid Ali Shah replied. FIA prosecutor confirmed that “this was exactly the message PTI founder himself is admitting”.

Justice Miangul further questioned the prosecutor that “leave it to yourself and tell what was changed in the cipher”.

On the prosecutor’s remarks, the IHC chief justice said Mr Hamid Shah “You are talking about a civil case, this is a criminal case”. In a criminal case, the prosecution has to prove its case, Chief Justice Amir Farooq said.

Even if the accused confesses himself, the prosecution has to prove the case, he said. “Admission does not mean that the prosecution was discharged”, Chief Justice Aamir Farooq clarified to the prosecution.

Chief Justice Amir Farooq said that the court was tired of asking what was in this sealed envelope. A cipher may be of a hundred pages or of a paragraph, said Justice Miangul Hasan.

“We do not know, the trial court does not know, the prosecution does not know”, Justice Miangul Hasan said.

FIA alleged that “founder PTI manipulated the cipher”, Justice Miangul Hasan.

“You are saying that he made the correct text of the cipher public, then what was the manipulation?” Justice Miangul questioned the prosecutor.

“Which country benefited from the cipher directly or indirectly? Chief Justice Amir Farooq sought the details. “If everyone is saying that relations have deteriorated, then it will not be like this”, added that “Had someone declared war, or taken the matter to the United Nations, what happened?,” Chief Justice Amir Farooq asked the prosecutor.

“You sent a demarche to a country and your relations will not deteriorate? Justice Miangul said surprisingly. “You are sending a demarche to a superpower and the US will accept it with open arms”, Justice Miangul Hasan questioned.

Justice Miangul Hasan also quizzed, “Sending demarche of the cipher did not ruin country’s ties but PTI founder uttered it in a rally which spoiled the relations?

On this Chief Justice Amir Farooq questioned, “Pakistan's relations had deteriorated with which country?

“With the US”, the FIA prosecutor replied. “What are the signs of strained ties?” questioned Chief Justice Amir Farooq.

Was the head of the Pakistani embassy summoned to Capitol Hill by the US? Justice Miangul Hasan added. This is the first step in straining diplomatic relations, Justice Miangul Hasan said.

“Are you making a statement about the deterioration of relations on the part of the United States? Justice Miangul Hasan questioned the FIA counsel.

“Share the details where did relations with the US deteriorate?” Chief Justice Amir Farooq asked the prosecutor. “What do you have besides a woman's WhatsApp message? Chief Justice Amir Farooq questioned the prosecutor.

Did the US stop visas, stop student admissions, stop trade, or something like that? Chief Justice further questioned from FIA prosecutor.

Justice Miangul told the prosecutor that the US has denied the statement made by the founder of PTI in the rally. The hearing of the cipher case was postponed till tomorrow.

Reporter: Ehtesham Kiyani


News Desk


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