Pakistan court rules 'open and public trial' of Imran Khan on jail premises

Imran Khan. (Photo/Reuters)

A Pakistan court has ruled that former Prime Minister Imran Khan's trial to be open to public and media, and to be conducted on jail premises, Khan's lawyer said on Tuesday.

The verdict came after the former prime minister was not produced in an open court trial on Monday because the government said there had been threats to his life.

The trial is said to begin on Friday, December 1.

Islamabad High Court had last week declared Khan's trial while he was in jail illegal, and ordered to restart it in an open court. He was charged with leaking state secrets.

The ruling by the Islamabad High Court had come on a petition filed by Khan, who demanded an open trial. The court's decision came about a month after Khan was indicated for allegedly revealing a secret document.

Legal experts say the charges he faces carry a possible death sentence in the event of a conviction.

Khan's close aide, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who was deputy in his Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party, is a co-defendant in the case. Both men have denied the charges them during the trial.

The case is related to Khan's comments about and waving of a confidential diplomatic letter at a rally after his ouster in a no-confidence vote in parliament in 2022. He and Qureshi are accused of communicating information in the classified letter to unauthorised people for political gain.

The document — dubbed Cipher — has not been made public by either the government or Khan's lawyers but was apparently diplomatic correspondence between the Pakistani ambassador to Washington and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad.

Khan claimed the document was proof that his ouster was a US conspiracy, allegedly executed by the military and his political opponents, including his successor Shehbaz Sharif. Washington, Pakistan's military and Sharif have denied the claim.


Source: TRT