Connect with us


Special court extends Imran’s judicial remand till Sept 13 in cipher case



A special court, recently established to hear cases filed under the Official Sec­rets Act, extended the judicial remand of PTI Chairman Imran Khan till September 13 on Wednesday, his lawyer confirmed.

It comes a day after the Islamabad High Court suspended the former premier’s three-year jail sentence in the Toshakhana case, in which he was convicted on August 5.

However, on the heels of verdict suspension, the special court had directed the authorities of Attock District Jail — where the PTI chief is currently incarcerated — to keep him in “judicial lockup” and produce him today in connection with the cipher case.

The cipher case pertains to a diplomatic document which reportedly went missing from Imran’s possession. The PTI alleges that it contained a threat from the United States to oust Imran from power. Proceedings against Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the PTI vice chairman and former foreign minister, are also under way in the same case.

A day ago, in a letter addressed to the Attock jail superintendent, a copy of which is available with, Special Court Judge Abual Hasnat Muhammad Zulqarnain said that Imran was “ordered for judicial remand in case FIR mentioned above, who is already detained in district jail, Attock”.

Last night, a notification issued by the law ministry said the interior ministry had conveyed “security concerns” to it in a letter and that the Law and Justice Division had “no objection” to Imran’s trial in the cipher case being held at Attock jail.

Subsequently, today, Judge Zulqarnain reached the Attock jail where he held an in-camera hearing of the case in the deputy superintendent’s office.

Prior to the hearing, the police had barred the PTI’s legal team from going inside the jail, saying that only one lawyer was allowed inside.

Speaking to reporters outside the jail after the hearing, Imran’s lawyer Barrister Salman Safdar asserted that the case against the PTI chief under the Secrets Act was “baseless” and said he would file a bail petition today.

He added: “The trial has not even started. Evidence is presented during the trial. Political cases are being made against the PTI chairman.”

A while later, the PTI’s legal team — comprising Safdar, Intizar Panjutha, Naeem Haider Panjutha and Ali Ijaz Battar — was allowed to enter the jail.

Imran was presented before the court while the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) team and the PTI’s legal team were also present during the hearing. The PTI chief’s legal team marked his attendance today.

When the hearing concluded, Judge Zulqernain departed from the jail to return to Islamabad.

On Monday, the special court had extended Qureshi’s remand by two days, which concludes today.

Later, Barrister Safdar confirmed to that the court extended Imran’s judicial remand by 14 days and also issued a notice on his post-arrest bail plea, seeking a reply from the respondents by September 2.

Talking to the media, Safdar said he met Imran, who was in “high spirits” and was “positive”. He added that the PTI chief gave him a briefing for 15 minutes detailing his stance on the cipher case.

The barrister asserted that proceedings under the Secrets Act were “reserved for the armed forces regarding internal matters, such as spying [and] mapping”. He termed the prosecution of a former premier and a former foreign minister (Qureshi) as “highly condemnable and very concerning”.

He said that “no one” in the PTI’s legal team or even Imran himself knew that he had been detained on judicial remand in the cipher case “for the past 15 days, when the FIA had requested for his physical remand but it was rejected”.

He then confirmed that the special court will hear the bail plea on Saturday and that the court also issued notices to the FIA on two other petitions — one challenging the trial of Imran in the cipher case and the second requesting an open hearing of the case.

Presenting Imran’s stance on the cipher case, Safdar stated that former interior minister Rana Sanaullah had admitted on social media that the original cipher was with them. “The FIA has also admitted that the original document of the cipher is with the Foreign Office,” he added.

Referring to the two meetings held by the then cabinet, the lawyer asserted that the cipher’s contents were discussed there and the then government had “declassified the cipher and the minutes of that meeting are with the Cabinet Division”.

“The day the cipher was declassified, it no longer remained an official secret,” he said, asking for what purpose then was this case for.


Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Trump business empire under threat as New York fraud trial opens



Former US president Donald Trump will appear in a New York court on Monday as a civil fraud trial against him and two of his sons kicks off, with the case threatening the Republican’s business empire as he campaigns to retake the White House.

In Monday’s case, Judge Arthur Engoron has already ruled that Trump and his sons Eric and Don Jr committed fraud by inflating the value of the real estate and financial assets of the Trump Organization for years.

New York Attorney General Letitia James is now seeking $250 million in penalties and the removal of Trump and his sons from management of the family empire.

Trump said late Sunday he planned to be present for the start of the trial on Monday morning.

“I’m going to Court tomorrow morning to fight for my name and reputation,” the 77-year-old wrote on his Truth Social platform. “This whole case is a sham!!!”

In addition to this civil case, Trump also faces several major criminal proceedings in the months ahead.

He is scheduled to appear before a federal judge in Washington on March 4 on charges of trying to overthrow the results of the 2020 presidential election won by Joe Biden.

Trump will then be back in New York state court, this time on criminal hush money charges, and later in a Florida federal court, where he is accused of mishandling classified documents after leaving office.

Finally, he will also have to answer to state charges in Georgia, where prosecutors say Trump illegally tried to get the southern state’s 2020 election results changed in his favor.

In the New York civil case, Engoron ruled that Trump, his two eldest sons, and other Trump Organisation executives lied to tax collectors, lenders, and insurers for years in a scheme that exaggerated the value of their properties by $812 million to $2.2 billion between 2014 and 2021.


Continue Reading


At least 38 injured in police station fire in Egypt’s Ismailia



A huge fire broke out at a police headquarters in the Egyptian city of Ismailia on Monday, injuring at least 38 people, according to local media.

No fatalities were immediately reported but the building is staffed by soldiers at all hours and hospitals were placed on alert.

Footage on local media showed smoke rising from the entirely blackened multi-storey building.

The cause of the blaze, which broke out at the headquarters of the Ismailia Security Directorate before dawn, is not yet known.

Of 26 wounded who were transferred to a local hospital, 24 had suffered from “asphyxiation” and two from burns, local media reported citing the health ministry.

Twelve more were treated at the scene.

The health ministry deployed 50 ambulances to the scene, which were joined by military emergency services including two planes, according to state media.

Deadly fires are a common hazard in Egypt, where fire codes are rarely enforced and emergency services are often slow to arrive.

In August 2022, a fire caused by a short circuit killed 41 worshippers in a Cairo church, prompting calls to improve the country’s infrastructure and the response time of the fire brigade.

In March 2021, at least 20 people died in a fire at a textile factory in the capital, while in 2020, two hospital fires killed 14 people.


Continue Reading


Annual inflation rises to 31.4pc amid high energy prices



Pakistan’s annual inflation rate rose to 31.4 per cent in September from 27.4pc in August, statistics bureau data showed on Monday, as the country reels from high fuel and energy prices.

The country is embarking on a tricky path to economic recovery under a caretaker government after a $3 billion loan programme approved by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in July averted a sovereign debt default, but with conditions that complicated efforts to rein in inflation.

On a month-on-month basis, inflation climbed 2pc in September, compared to an increase of 1.7pc in August. Reforms required by the IMF bailout, including an easing of import restrictions and a demand that subsidies be removed, have already fuelled annual inflation, which rose to a record 38pc in May.

Food inflation remained elevated at 33.1pc with the year-on-year increase in non-perishable food items at 38.4pc and 4.37pc for perishable food items.

Annual consumer inflation in urban and rural areas increased to 29.7pc and 33.9pc year-on-year, respectively.

Meanwhile, the highest year-on-year increase was recorded in the categories of alcoholic beverages and tobacco (87.45pc), recreation and culture (58.77pc), furnishing and household equipment maintenance (39.32pc) and non-perishable food items.

Index-wise increase in inflation YoY (in descending order)

  • Alcoholic beverages and tobacco: 87.45pc
  • Recreation and culture: 58.77pc
  • Furnishing and household equipment maintenance: 39.32pc
  • Non-perishable food items: 38.41pc
  • Miscellaneous goods and services: 36.42pc
  • Restaurants and hotels: 34.3pc
  • Transport: 31.26pc
  • Housing and utilities: 29.7pc
  • Health: 25.28pc
  • Clothing and footwear: 20.55pc
  • Education: 11.12pc
  • Communication: 7.42pc
  • Perishable food items: 4.37pc

Interest rates have also risen to their highest at 22pc, and the rupee hit all-time lows in August before recovering in September to become the best performing currency following a clampdown by authorities on unregulated FX trade.

On Friday, the ministry of finance said in its monthly report that it anticipated inflation remaining high in the coming month, hovering around 29-31pc due to an upward adjustment in energy tariffs and a major increase in fuel prices.

The report added that inflation was, however, expected to ease, especially from the second half of the current fiscal year that starts on Jan 1.

On Saturday, the government cut petrol and diesel prices from a record high, after two consecutive hikes. The finance ministry cited international prices of petroleum products and the improvement in the exchange rate, following the clampdown on unregulated FX trade.

Inflation has been elevated, hovering in double digits, since November 2021.
The country targeted inflation at 21pc for the current fiscal year, but it averaged 29pc during the first quarter.

Worsening economic conditions, along with rising political tensions in the run-up to a national election scheduled for November, triggered sporadic protests in September, with many Pakistanis saying they are struggling to make ends meet.

Analysts said the inflation reading was in line with market expectations.

Tahir Abbas, head of research at Arif Habib Limited, a Karachi-based investment company, said inflation appeared to have peaked for the current fiscal year and would subsequently recede.

“The higher reading is mainly due to the low base effect which was also mentioned in the last monetary policy statement. Going forward, in the next few months, we expect inflation to ease to around 26-27pc,” said Fahad Rauf, head of research at Ismail Iqbal Securities, a Karachi-based brokerage firm.

Rauf said higher inflation statistics should not impact monetary policy.


Continue Reading


Copyright © 2023 All Rights Reserved, Noor Marketing