Crime & Justice

Pakistan’s top court grants bail to ex-PM Khan, aide in state secret case

Islamabad, Dec 22 (EFE).- Pakistan’s top court on Friday granted bail to former prime minister Imran Khan and ex-foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in a case related to leaking state secrets.

The former prime minister will, however, remain in jail on account of other pending cases against him.

Khan and Qureshi are charged with leaking diplomatic correspondence between Washington and Islamabad in 2022, when they were in power.

The former PM claimed that the cable, also called cipher, was proof that his ouster in April 2022 was part of a US conspiracy to overthrow him because of his neutral stance on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

A three-member bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Acting Chief Justice Sardar Tariq Masood, heard the petitions of Khan and Qureshi against the Islamabad High Court verdict which had rejected their bail petitions in October.

“What can be more ridiculous than that Pakistan has imprisoned its Prime Minister and Foreign Minister for exposing a foreign conspiracy,” Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party (PTI) posted on social media platform X, formerly Twitter.

A party spokesperson confirmed the development but said Khan would not be released as he also faces other legal cases against him.

“Both Khan and Qureshi have been granted bail by the Supreme Court in the cipher case but he (Khan) will still remain in jail as he is also arrested in two other cases,” PTI’s Ahmed Janjua told EFE.

In one graft case, the embattled ex-prime minister faces allegations of receiving nearly 60 acres of land worth 7 billion Pakistani rupees ($24 million) as a bribe from a real estate tycoon.

The second case pertains to Toshakhana, or government repository, where state gifts are kept.

Khan is accused of not declaring the proceeds from the sale of state gifts he had received as prime minister from 2018 to 2022.

General elections are scheduled to take place on Feb. 8 next year but the prospects of Khan to contest the elections remain uncertain.

The ousted premier was sentenced to three years in prison in the Toshakhana case, making him ineligible to run for public office, unless the sentence is overturned by a higher court.

Khan has nearly 200 legal cases against him. He denies any wrongdoing and says the charges, as well as those related to the cipher case, are politically motivated and intended to keep him and his PTI party out of general elections. EFE

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