Azam Khan, former principal secretary to ex-prime minister Imran Khan. — Facebook/Fans of Azam Khan/File
Azam Khan, former principal secretary to ex-prime minister Imran Khan. — Facebook/Fans of Azam Khan/File 
  • Azam recorded his statement as accused and not witness: IHC told. 
  • Khan’s lawyer stresses that statement wasn’t recorded under-oath.
  • Hearing of case to resume today after Tuesday’s adjournement.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf founder Imran Khan’s lawyer has told the Islamabad High Court (IHC) that the ex-premier’s principal secretary Azam Khan’s statement cannot be relied upon after the former bureaucrat changed his statement in the cipher case, The News reported on Wednesday.

The lawyer underscored that Azam recorded his statement as an accused instead as a witness; therefore, his statement holds no legal value as he was not under-oath.

Former prime minister’s lawyer Salman Safdar’s remarks came during the hearing of appeals filed against the conviction of his client and PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the cipher case at the IHC.

A two-member bench of the IHC — comprising Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hasan Aurangzeb — heard the appeals against the conviction of both PTI politicians who were sentenced in the said case on January 30 earlier this year.

During the hearing, IHC chief justice questioned the legal status of a witness’s statement and whether it was cross-examined after it was recorded before a magistrate and then before a court.

Responding to this, Safdar highlighted the difference between the ex-bureaucrat’s statement which he recorded before the investigating officer and the magistrate and said that the deviation favours the accused, Khan.

When questioned by the chief justice on Azam’s statement regarding the prosecution’s case that the cipher was twisted, the lawyer answered in the negative contending that the witness didn’t say that the former prime minister lost the cipher intentionally, but instead, had asked the military secretary to search for it.

He further pointed out that the prosecution dropped the charge in the first information report (FIR) where it was alleged that the paper was waved in a public gathering on March 27 and the conspiracy — which Azam was accused of being a part of — was hatched in a meeting on March 28.

However, the CJ observed that the witness was neither named in the FIR as accused nor in the charge sheet.

Responding to the chief justice’s remarks, the counsel apprised the court that for 17 months notices were issued for Azam to join the inquiry after he was abducted to only come back the next day, after the registration of the FIR, to record his statement without even securing bail.

Responding to the chief justice’s query about whether Azam was arrested or not when his statement was recorded on August 16, Safdar said that the magistrate recorded the statement and told Azam that he would not be handed over to the authorities, which means that he recorded his statement not as a witness but as an accused.

The court then adjourned the hearing which is to be resumed today (Wednesday).



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