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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Toshakhana & cypher sentences challenged in IHC

Moreover, the timing of the judgments, seemingly scheduled to conclude before the general elections, raised suspicions of political interference.

On Friday, Imran Khan and his spouse, Bushra Bibi, launched a legal challenge against their respective convictions in the Toshakhana and cipher cases. Their legal representatives filed appeals in the Islamabad High Court, asserting that the trials were marred by procedural irregularities and a disregard for their right to a fair trial and due process.

Imran Khan was found guilty in the cipher case by the Special Court under the Official Secrets Act on January 30, while both Khan and Bushra Bibi received sentences in the Toshakhana case from the Islamabad Accountability Court on January 31.

The appeals contend that the trials were conducted hastily and unfairly, with fundamental rights of the accused ignored. Barrister Syed Ali Zafar, leading the legal team, lodged two appeals along with writ petitions and applications challenging the rulings of the special judge and NAB during the confinement trials of both cases.

Violation of basic rights 

According to Barrister Zafar, the convictions of the former premier and his spouse were wrongful, violating their constitutional rights guaranteed under the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan. The evidence presented against them, it’s argued, fails to substantiate the alleged charges.

The legal documents further highlight various injustices during the trials. They assert that the abbreviated duration of the trials, lack of transparency, and constraints on the defense violated the rights of Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi. Moreover, the timing of the judgments, seemingly scheduled to conclude before the general elections, raised suspicions of political interference.

More to read:Imran Khan nominates Omar Ayub as the PM candidate

Additionally, it’s argued that during the confinement trials, the accused were deprived of the opportunity to present a robust defense. They were denied the chance to cross-examine witnesses and were even subjected to unauthorized replacements of their legal representatives with state-appointed counsels from the prosecution team.

The appeals implore the court to overturn the judgments, acquit the accused, and suspend their sentences and convictions in the Toshakhana and cipher cases.