ISLAMABAD: The bail requests made by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman and PTI Vice-Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi in the cipher case have been rejected by a special court on Thursday.
The court has issued its reserved decision regarding the cipher case.
Earlier today, the special court had granted pre-arrest bail to PTI leader Asad Umar, requiring him to provide a Rs50,000 surety bond.
The cipher case involves allegations against the PTI chief, which were filed by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) of Pakistan. The FIA has accused the former prime minister of disclosing the contents of a classified diplomatic cable from Pakistan’s embassy in Washington, commonly referred to as the “cipher.” It is claimed that the PTI chief used this cable to assert that the US had pressured Pakistan’s top authorities to remove his government in April 2022, following his visit to Russia shortly before the invasion of Ukraine. The FIA has charged him with violating the Official Secrets Act, which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison.
The PTI chief has vehemently denied these allegations and raised concerns about the legitimacy of the case. He has also objected to the trial taking place in Attock jail, where he is presently detained, rather than in Islamabad. The PTI chief’s legal team has argued that conducting the trial in jail infringes upon his right to a fair trial and due process.
The cipher case is just one of several legal challenges that the PTI chief has encountered since losing a vote of confidence in parliament in April of the previous year. Additionally, he was convicted in a corruption case last month and barred from participating in elections for a five-year period. Although his sentence was temporarily suspended by the IHC, he remains in custody in connection with the cipher case. A special court has extended his judicial remand until September 26.