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Imran Khan can be sentenced to 14-year in jail over cypher gate: law minister



Former prime minister Imran Khan (Left) and Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar. — Reuters/APP/File
  • “Negligence in handling secret document contains 2-year sentence.” 
  • Former PM took away cypher and never returned, says law minister.
  • Azam Tarar says FIA probing matter, summons Imran Khan on 25th.

Referring to ex-principal secretary Azam Khan’s confessional statement against former prime minister Imran Khan, Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar said on Thursday that an accused can be sentenced to up to 14 years in jail for using classified documents for vested interest.

A day earlier, the former principal secretary, who had been “missing” since last month, recorded his statement under CrPC 164 before a magistrate claiming that the former PM used a diplomatic cypher to concoct a false narrative against the establishment and opposition.

In his confessional statement, Azam claimed that when he shared the cypher with Imran, the former premier was “euphoric” and termed the language as a “US blunder”.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad today, the law minister said showing “criminal negligence” in handling confidential documents can land an official in prison for up to two years.

However, the law minister said if the cypher was made public and its contents were leaked for vested interest then an accused can be sentenced to up to 14 years.

“Sharing or making public classified document for vested interest or if it is prejudicial to the national interest than a category for [sentence] is 14 years,” he added.

Imran, who was ousted via a parliamentary vote in April last year, had alleged on March 27, 2022, that Washington orchestrated a plan to remove him from office — and brandished the cypher sent by Pakistan envoy to Washington at a public rally to back his claims.

The US has time and again denied such allegations, terming them “categorically false”.

In today’s presser, the law minister claimed that the former PM had taken away the cypher with him and never returned.

He said the federal government had referred the cypher scandal to Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) but the PTI chief had secured the court’s stay order on it.

Tarar said the FIA has now summoned the PTI leaders including Imran to join the investigation on July 25 and added that the federal agency would decide whether to convert the ongoing probe into a criminal investigation.

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