Cypher case: Court extends Qureshi’s physical remand


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ISLAMABAD: The special court established to hear cases related to the Official Secrets Act extended the physical remand of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Vice-chairperson Shah Mahmood Qureshi by three days on Friday.

Qureshi was presented in court after his earlier 4-day remand in the cypher case ended today. During today’s hearing, the PTI leader’s counsel Shoaib Shaheen and Special Prosecutor Shah Khawar were present in the court.

Judge Abul Hasnat reserved the decision after hearing the arguments of both parties pertaining to a request by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for further physical remand of the PTI leader.

Subsequently, the judge extended Qureshi’s physical remand by three days and handed him over to the investigative agency.

The FIA arrested Qureshi in the cypher leak case under the Official Secrets Act, 1923 from his residence in the federal capital.

The agency had booked former premier Imran Khan and Qureshi among others for “wrongful use” of official secret information and illegal retention of the cypher telegram – an official secret document – with malafide intention.

The FIR No 6/2023 read that the role of the former prime minister’s principal secretary Azam Khan, ex-planning minister Asad Umar, and others associates involved would be determined during the course of investigations.

The counter-terrorism wing (CTW) of the FIA had registered a case under sections 5 (wrongful communication, etc, of information) and 9 (attempts, incitements, etc) of the Official Secrets Act of 1923 read with Section 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code on the complaint of then-Interior Secretary Yousaf Naseem Khokhar in Islamabad.

The FIR revealed that the case had been registered upon the conclusion of an enquiry No111/2023 dated Oct 5, 2022, registered in the FIA’s CTW.

It read that Imran, Qureshi, and their associates were involved in the communication of information contained in a secret classified document – a cypher telegram received from Parep Washington dated March 7, 2022, by the foreign affairs secretary – to unauthorised persons (public at large) by “twisting the facts to achieve their ulterior motives and personal gains in a manner prejudicial to the interests of state security”.

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