Pakistan court extends Imran Khan’s jail stay in state secrets leak case

Islamabad, Aug 30 (EFE).- A Pakistani court extended the judicial remand of former prime minister Imran Khan by two weeks on Wednesday for questioning in a case related to the leaking of a confidential diplomatic document, according to his lawyer.

The court held the proceedings inside the jail premises in Punjab´s Attock city.

The special court’s decision followed an appeals court’s move to suspend Khan’s corruption conviction and his three-year prison sentence a day ago.

Khan was apprehended on August 5 in connection to the corruption case, and he was granted bail on Tuesday.

However, the special court sustained his detention due to his earlier arrest for allegedly leaking the contents of a confidential cable sent by Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States.

Khan is battling a plethora of criminal charges including terrorism and inciting violence, all of which he brushes off as part of a political witch-hunt that began after his ouster in a parliamentary no-confidence vote in April 2022.

Judge Abual Hasnat had barred access to the media and civil society members During the state secrets leak case hearing.

Only Khan’s legal team was present during the in-camera proceedings.

“The special court has extended Imran Khan´s judicial remand until Sep.13,” defense lawyer Naeem Panjutha told EFE.

His lawyers have filed for bail in a court in Islamabad, requesting an open trial and challenging the proceedings inside the jail.

The leaked document pertains to an alleged conversation between two American diplomats and the then-Pakistani ambassador to the US, as recorded in a diplomatic cable, internally called a cipher.

The cable dates to March 7, 2022, a few weeks before Khan’s ouster.

Khan had brandished the alleged cipher during a public rally, claiming that the US had sought his removal from power due to his neutral stance on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The US has refuted these allegations.

Khan has been embroiled in a legal battle since his ouster. He has accused the powerful military and its intelligence of crushing his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party ahead of the upcoming general elections due later this year.

Khan has repeatedly alleged that the then army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, conspired with the then-opposition leader, Shehbaz Sharif, and the US to bring down his government. EFE


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