PTI founder Imran Khan, Shah Mahmood Qureshi walk free in cipher case

PTI founder Imran Khan, Shah Mahmood Qureshi walk free in cipher case


Trial court had sentenced both leaders to 10-year imprisonment

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ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) - In another landmark judgement, the Islamabad High Court on Monday suspended the sentence awarded to PTI founder Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the cipher case. 

The trial court had sentenced both the party leaders to 10-year prison each in the case. 

IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Gulhasan Aurangzeb heard the appeals against the sentences handed down to the PTI founder and Shah Mahmood Qureshi. 

The lawyers of both sides advanced their arguments and the court earlier reserved the judgement. 

Barristers Salman Safdar, Taimur Malik and others represented the appellants, while FIA prosecutor Zulfiqar Naqvi was absent.

Barrister Safdar argued that there was no documentation proving that former principal secretary Azam Khan handed over the cipher to Imran Khan. Safdar stressed that it was prosecution's responsibility to prove the case. He said the judgement was passed in a hurry. 

Also read: PTI founder and Qureshi awarded 10-year jail term in cipher case 

Safdar questioned how there could be charges for retaining the cipher that was lost and highlighted a lack of action against those who returned the eight copies of the cipher after the FIR was registered. He argued that the prosecution’s request for additional documents indicated the failure to prove the case. 

Barrister Safdar demanded that the accused be discharged, noting that the court was not told about any specific country with which relations had worsened. 

In response, the chief justice referenced the prosecution's statement from the previous hearing which suggested the case be sent back to the trial court. 

Safdar pointed out that the prosecution’s dependence on a Supreme Court decision was wrong as it pertained to a civil matter. The defence lawyers opposed remanding the case to the trial court and completed arguments.

Previously, the Islamabad High Court had sought arguments on the admissibility of appeals against the convictions of Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi. On Jan 30, both were sentenced to 10 years in prison in the cipher case. 


PTI chairman Barrister Gohar Ali Khan hailed the decision and declared it a victory of law and justice. 

“The nation saw today that the just verdict came and the banner of justice was held high and that baseless case was eliminated in which Imran Khan spent around 10 months in jail and for which he was kept in jail all the time. Today is a day of happiness … very soon the nation will see that Imran Khan will be outside,” he said on his social media account on X.

Senate opposition leader Shibli Faraz said God had vindicated the PTI duo, adding that the verdict came as a “wave of fresh air” and that the party hoped that its other case of the reserved seats in the Supreme Court would also be granted justice.