Cipher case

Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison:

In a significant development just before Pakistan’s general elections on February 8, former Prime Minister Imran Khan and ex-Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi have been sentenced to ten years in jail in the cipher case. The case revolves around a diplomatic document that Pakistan’s federal investigation agency claims Imran Khan never returned, alleging a threat from the United States to remove him from office.

Fresh Trial and Conviction:

The decision comes amidst a crackdown on the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, with a special court starting a new trial in Adiala District Jail last month. Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi faced initial charges in October, but the Islamabad High Court initially invalidated the case. However, a fresh trial resulted in their second conviction on December 13.

Cipher Case Background:

Imran Khan had asserted that the document in question contained a U.S. threat to oust him, emphasizing a conspiracy involving the government. The case involves a national secret, known as the cipher, which Imran Khan displayed at rallies, claiming his government’s overthrow by the military at the behest of the U.S.

Additional Legal Troubles:

This recent sentencing adds to Imran Khan’s legal challenges. He had previously been sentenced to three years in jail in the Toshakha case in August 2023, accompanied by a five-year election ban. Furthermore, there are 15 other pending cases against Khan, including charges related to an attack on a military base and acquiring free land for a university. Shah Mahmood Qureshi also faces multiple cases.

It remains to be seen how these legal developments will impact the political landscape in Pakistan, especially with the impending general elections.

Imran Khan Case: Extreme Punishment Announced:

Cipher case on imran khan

A special courtroom in Rawalpindi delivered a severe verdict on former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, and his wife Bushra Bibi in the Toshkhana case. The court sentenced them to 14 years of rigorous imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 1.573 billion. Additionally, Imran Khan was disqualified from holding any public office for a period of 10 years.

Harsh Penalties and Disqualification:

The court, as reported by Pakistani news channel ‘Jio Information,’ confirmed the 10-year disqualification for both Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi from holding public office. A collective penalty of Rs 78.7 crore was imposed on them, marking a significant setback for the former Prime Minister. Bushra Bibi was absent from court proceedings on this occasion.

Previous Conviction and Double Blow:

Just a day earlier, Imran Khan had been sentenced to 10 years in jail for disclosing private U.S. documents. This recent sentence in the Toshkhana case serves as a double blow to his legal troubles.

Origin of the Case: Bushra Bibi’s Ex-Husband Files Complaint:

On November 25, 2023, Khawar Farid Maneka, the ex-husband of Imran Khan’s wife, Bushra Bibi, filed a case accusing Imran Khan and Bushra of adultery and fraudulent marriage. The case, heard in the court of Senior Civil Judge Qudratullah East Islamabad, resulted in the recent sentencing of Khan and Bibi.

Additional Convictions Involving Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi:

It’s worth noting that Imran Khan and former Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi were sentenced to 10 years in jail each just a day before. The charges were related to leaking secret documents, and both are currently serving their sentences in Rawalpindi’s Adiala prison. Despite their imprisonment, they attended court hearings remotely.

Khan aide Zulfikar Bukhari told Reuters the legal team was given no chance to represent Khan or to cross examine witnesses. The proceedings were carried out in the maximum-security Adiala jail in Rawalpindi.

Another of Khan’s lawyers, Ali Zafar, told ARY television that given the circumstances of the trial and sentencing, the chances of the case being quashed on appeal were “100%”.

Bukhari called the conviction an attempt to weaken support for Khan. “People will now make sure they come out and vote in larger numbers,” he told Reuters.

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