Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan and senior PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi have been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment each in the cipher case today. Judge Abual Hasnat Muhammad Zulqarnain heard the cipher case and delivered the verdict at the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi.
Both politicians denied that they were involved in misusing diplomatic cables and leaking state documents for political purposes.
Before announcing the verdict, Judge Zulqarnain, reminded the PTI leaders that their lawyers were not appearing in court and they were given state lawyers.
During the hearing, Imran and Qureshi were given questions under 342. However, both leaders said that their lawyers are not present, asking how can they record their statement.
The decision comes a day after the hearing was postponed because Imran Khan disrupted the last hearing by shouting angrily.
What is cipher case?
Imran Khan faced allegations that he violated the Official Secrets Act when he disclosed a secret diplomatic cable, dubbed the Cipher, sent by Pakistan’s embassy in Washington in March 2022. Khan reportedly lost possession of the diplomatic cable later. At a public rally in 2023, held just days before his ouster from the Prime Minister’s office, Khan waved a folded piece of paper from the podium, stating that it is the cable.
Both Khan and Qureshi claimed that the cable had a threat from the US to topple the PTI government, which was then in power in Pakistan.
Khan was ousted from the prime ministerial office in April 2022 after a no-confidence vote. Since being relieved of the premier post, more than 150 cases have been slapped against him.