Special court issues detailed verdict in cipher case
RAWALPINDI: (Suno News) The special Official Secrets Act (OSA) court on Thursday released a detailed verdict, sentencing both former premier Imran Khan and former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to 10 years in prison in the cipher case.
Special court judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain issued a detailed 77-page verdict in the cipher case which stated, “The cipher issue affected Pakistan’s relations with other countries which benefited the enemies. The PTI founder did not send the cipher back to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”
The detailed verdict consists of 20 findings that include the importance of ciphers, eyewitnesses, and secret documents.
The judgement said that the conduct of both the convicts before the trial court had been taken into consideration. “Both convicts created self-inflicted problems and tried to portray themselves as helpless to get sympathy. The right to a fair trial is not for the sly accused. The cipher was used for personal gains. Both convicts violated their oath as prime minister and foreign minister.”
The judgement further said, “The PTI founder and Shah Mehmood Qureshi lied deliberately. Prime minister ex-principal secretary Azam Khan’s statement was based on truth which strengthened the prosecution’s case. The integrity of the communication system with other countries was compromised through the cipher.”
The judgment further stated that the cipher case had been filed after 17 months of investigation, adding: “17-month investigations proved that the case was not filed late. As the prime minister and the founder of PTI, it was his responsibility to return the cipher. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs cannot ask the prime minister to return the cipher. He has not returned the cipher so far. The case is related to the cipher which was received by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from Washington. The cipher is a very sensitive document which establishes a link of trust between Pakistan and the United States.”
The court judgement also said that the statements of 25 witnesses had been recorded, adding: “The defence lawyers appeared to be non-serious in the case. On January 27, they were not present for the case hearing. The public prosecutor was present for the hearing, and the PTI founder and Shah Mehmood Qureshi misbehaved with him and threw the files against the wall. The defence lawyers – Usman Gul and Ali Bukhari – were given time to prepare for cross-examination, but they refused to cross-examine after which the state lawyer carried out the cross-examination.”