Pakistani court suspends FIA summons of ex-PM Imran Khan in audio leak case

LAHORE: A Pakistani high court on Tuesday suspended a subpoena issued to ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) as part of an audio leak investigation related to the “cypher” controversy and requested a response by December 19.
Khan on Monday challenged the government’s investigation into him in the ‘cypher’ controversy at the Lahore High Court (LHC) in which the FIA ​​summoned him on December 6 to register his statement.
“LHC Judge Asjad Javed Ghural overruled the Registrar’s Office’s objection to the maintainability of the motion by the Pakistan The head of Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) against a notice of appeal from the FIA.
“The judge, after hearing arguments from Khan’s lawyer, Salman Safdar, suspended the FIA’s opinion and ordered it to submit a response to the motion by December 19,” a court official said. to PTI after the hearing.
Judge Ghural had considered Khan’s petition a “case of objection”.
The FIA ​​had opened an investigation into Khan’s audio leaks linked to the US cipher. In the clip that surfaced in September last year, Khan, his principal secretary Azam Khan and former minister Asad Umar were heard discussing how to ‘play with the number’ to make it look like an alien plot and build a narrative.
The controversial diplomatic cipher refers to a secret communication to the Pakistani government from then-Pakistani Ambassador to the United States, Asad Majeed, during his meeting with a senior State Department official, Donald Lu, in which this the latter reportedly called for Khan’s removal as prime minister.
The United States has repeatedly rejected Khan’s claims that it played a role in his ousting as Pakistan’s prime minister in April after losing a no-confidence vote in the National Assembly.
The Shehbaz Sharif government has taken notice of the matter and formed a committee to investigate the content of the leaked audio. Later, the cabinet also approved legal action against those involved in the case.
The FIA ​​had also summoned the vice-president of the PTI and former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and former finance minister Asad Umar in the case.
In his petition, Khan said the FIA ​​had opened an investigation into the alleged audio leak regarding diplomatic encryption received from a foreign country.
“The alleged audio released by the federal government not only jeopardizes the security of such a high office as prime minister, but is also a gross violation of the petitioner’s fundamental rights,” Khan said.
He said the audio leak issue had already been challenged before the Supreme Court.
Khan said the FIA ​​investigation was “politically motivated, initiated for the sole purpose of twisting my arm and harassing me”.
He urged the court to quash the disputed subpoena by declaring it issued without jurisdiction. “The court should quash the disputed investigation and prior notice in the interests of justice, as no wrongdoing has been reported against the petitioner,” Khan asked.
The former prime minister who was ousted in a no-confidence motion in April last year had claimed the opposition’s no-confidence decision was part of an alleged ‘foreign-funded plot’ against his government to its refusal to allow Pakistan’s foreign policy to be influenced from abroad (the United States).

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