According to the court, a new trial in the infamous “cypher case” will take place behind bars yet be accessible to the public and media.
Pakistan’s Islamabad A Pakistani court has mandated that former prime minister Imran Khan’s trial be held in public and open to the public as well as his relatives within the jail premises.
The trial in the suspected state secrets leak case will take place at the Adiala Jail grounds, which is roughly 34 kilometers (21 miles) from the capital and has been housing Khan since the end of September, according to a statement made on Tuesday by the special court in Islamabad.
Khan was not brought before the court on Tuesday, despite an order issued by the Islamabad High Court last week. The administration cited “serious security concerns,” including a threat to Khan’s life.
Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain issued a brief ruling stating that the public, media, and five members of Khan’s family would be permitted to attend the hearings. Additionally, the former foreign minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, is also an accused party in the case.
On Friday, the hearing will start. The trial in the state secrets case, commonly known as the cypher case, was being held behind closed doors until last week when the Islamabad High Court ruled that it was unlawful.
The case concerns a diplomatic cable, or cypher, that a former Pakistani ambassador to the US sent to Islamabad. Khan claims this document supports his claim that his removal from office last year was the result of a plot orchestrated by the Pakistani military and his political rivals in cooperation with the US.
The accusation is denied by US and Pakistani authorities.
Khan’s attorney expressed disappointment to Al Jazeera at Tuesday’s decision, arguing that a trial in jail cannot take place in public.
“We firmly disagree with the court’s decision. We have continuously demanded that the hearing be held in a public setting with unrestricted public access. However, this hearing is now being used as a prison trial. Although the court has ruled that the public has access, Khalid Yousaf Chaudhry stated that this is never the case on jail property.
From 2018 to April 2022, when he lost a parliamentary vote of confidence, Khan, 71, served as prime minister of Pakistan. He claims that the numerous accusations he has been subjected to since then are a plot by the military and the government to prevent him from participating in the important general elections, which are set for February 8.
He was found guilty in August of unlawfully selling presents that he had accepted as prime minister from foreign heads of state and government, and he was sentenced to three years in prison. He was given bail and had his sentence suspended, but he’s still being held for the cypher case.
After his detention on August 5, Khan, the head of Pakistan’s biggest opposition and the leader of the party that is predicted to win the election the following year, has not been seen in public.
In addition, Khan’s attorneys have voiced worries about the jail’s security measures and asserted that Khan’s life is in jeopardy.
After being wounded in the leg during a protest in Punjab’s eastern region, Khan escaped an attempted murder.