Pakistan court acquits Imran Khan, Shah Mahmood Qureshi in cipher case

Imran Khan.

The duo is reportedly to remain imprisoned in another case 

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday acquitted PTI founder Imran Khan and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the cipher case.

IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb announced the short verdict after accepting the appeals of the former premier and diplomat against their convictions.

Despite the acquittal, the duo are not expected to be released from prison.

Imran Khan remains incarcerated due to his sentence in the Iddat case, which was transferred to another judge today.

Qureshi, meanwhile, was arrested in connection with the May 9 cases and is on physical remand until June 5.

A special court, established under the Official Secrets Act, had handed both Imran and Qureshi 10-year jail sentences in January. This decision was made after Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain appointed state counsel for them.

This was Imran’s second conviction. He was also convicted in the Toshakhana case on August 5 and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. The IHC had suspended his sentence, but a division bench later rejected his petition seeking the suspension of the conviction.

In January, Imran was convicted again in a separate Toshakhana case, and the 14-year sentence was suspended by the IHC in April. He was then convicted in the Iddat case and sentenced to seven years in jail in February.

The cipher case revolves around a diplomatic document that the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) charge sheet alleges was never returned by then-PM Imran Khan. Khan maintains that the document contained a threat from the US to topple his government.

Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Omar Ayub hailed the verdict and called for their immediate release.

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