Government challenges acquittal of former Pakistan Premier Khan in state secret case

Government challenges acquittal of former Pakistan Premier Khan in state secret case

Islamabad High Court acquitted Khan, his Foreign Minister Qureshi last week in ‘cypher case’

By Aamir Latif

KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) - Pakistan’s government challenged the acquittal of former Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in a case that accused him of leaking state secrets, court records said Thursday.

No date has been set for a hearing of the Federal Investigation Agency’s appeal.

The Islamabad High Court acquitted Khan and Qureshi last week in the case commonly known as the “cypher case.”

The two men had been sentenced to 10 years in prison by a lower court on charges of making public a cypher -- a classified cable sent to Islamabad by Pakistan's envoy in Washington in 2022.

Khan, 71, has been in jail since August 2023, and despite his acquittal, will remain in prison. He, along with his third wife, Bushra Khan, is serving a seven-year sentence in an illegal marriage case.

About 200 cases have been registered against Khan since his ouster in April 2022 in a no-confidence vote in parliament, but he has received acquittals and bails in several of them. His conviction in a corruption case involving state gifts was set aside by the high court last year.

Khan’s ouster came nearly one year short of completing his term. He accuses the US of orchestrating his removal, a charge Washington and Islamabad have denied.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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