Imran Khan’s wife Bushra Bibi has been granted interim bail by an accountability court in Islamabad while barring the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) from arresting her in the Toshakhana and GBP 190-million Al-Qadir Trust cases.

Bushra Bibi appeared in the court of duty Judge Raja Jawab Abbas along with her counsel Latif Khosa for pre-arrest bail.
The interim bail was granted in exchange for bonds worth Rs500,000 in each case and the hearing was adjourned till October 31.

ATC adjourns hearing on bail:

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The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) of Islamabad has postponed the bail hearing for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan in three separate cases until October 24.

These cases, two of which were registered at the Khanna police station and one at Bhara Kahu, require the court to carefully examine the details of each case. The court requested the relevant records for further review.

During the hearing, Imran Khan’s lawyer, Salman Safdar, appealed for the production orders of his client, emphasizing that the Islamabad High Court had reinstated the bail applications, making Khan’s appearance in court necessary for all three cases.

Safdar asserted, “Don’t think you have the powers of an Official Secrets Act court also. When a bail application is filed, it is decided on merit. If the court thinks the production cannot be ensured today, then the hearing should be held tomorrow. Whether the client has to be brought by a helicopter or an armored vehicle, it is the responsibility of the prison authorities.”

Responding to the concerns raised, Judge Abul Hasnat Zulqarnain stated that if the suspect’s appearance posed a challenge, the court would prioritize the bail application where another case was scheduled for the following day. He emphasized that even though the application was for pre-arrest bail, the fact remains that the suspect is currently in jail.

In response to the lawyer’s request to avoid conducting the bail application hearing within the jail premises the next day, the judge assured him that the appropriate relief would be provided as per the law.

Cipher Case Updates:

Islamabad High Court (IHC) has determined that the trial of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan in a cipher case can proceed within the confines of Adiala jail, citing concerns about the leader’s security. Chief Justice Aamer Farooq made the announcement, responding to Khan’s plea challenging the authorities’ decision to hold the trial within the jail premises, under the Official Secrets Act.

The court directed Khan to take up any reservations he might have regarding the matter directly with the trial court. Khan, whose government was ousted following a vote of no confidence in April last year, had sought for his trial to be conducted in a regular court, rather than within the jail’s confines.

Citing security as a crucial factor, the court stated, “The jail trial is in favor of the PTI chairman in view of his security,” acknowledging Khan’s repeated expressions of concern about his safety.

In a related development, PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi also filed a petition in the IHC, challenging his own jail trial. He requested the annulment of the trial court’s order and urged for an open trial. The special court had set the date for the indictment of both Khan and Qureshi in the cipher case on October 17, after the copies of the challan provided by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) were shared with the accused’s counsels.

In response to the developments, Khan’s lawyer, Latif Khosa, presented arguments highlighting the former prime minister’s concerns and previous legal history. Khosa emphasized that Khan had previously been sentenced to three years of imprisonment in the Toshakhana case, which was suspended shortly after. He questioned the legality of the jail trial, stating that it took place after the judicial remand and that the accused had not been provided with substantial evidence.