A special court will hear the cipher case against Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the Adiala Jail on Saturday after the federal government finally issued a notification allowing the proceedings on Friday.
Confusion continued to persist over whether the trial would take place in jail or in the Federal Judicial Complex as Judge Abu Alhasnaat Zulqurnain resumed hearing on Friday.
Defence lawyer Sikandar Zulqarnain, Imran Khan’s sister Aleema Khan and Qureshi’s lawyer Ali Bukhari attended proceedings where the question of the hearing’s location came up for dicussion.
Bukhari argued that while a security report had been submitted regarding Imran Khan, no such concerns were raised about Qureshi.
Aleema Khan also asked the court if the government had issued a notification for the trial . The judge replied that a notification had not been received and if it did not come, he would issue production orders for Khan and Qureshi.
However, as the court took a break in the proceedings, a notification arrived from the law ministry dated November 19 that granted ‘sanction’ for the proceedings to take place in jail.
The cipher trial was intially heard in the Adiala Jail where Khan and Qureshi were indicted on October 23. Khan is charged with illegally retaining and communicating a classified diplomatic cable for political purposes while Qureshi is accused of abetting him. Both have pleaded not guilty.
Earlier this month, the Islamabad High Court declared the jail trial to be illegal and ordered that the case should be heard in open court. However, the special court ordered that the trial should be held in jail but be open to media and public after receiving a report on security threats to Imran Khan.