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Could be jailed for life if guilty: Pak Law Minister on Imran Khan

But the nature of crime would change 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

Imran Khan, ex-Pak PM

Photo: Bloomberg

Press Trust of India Islamabad

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Pakistan's law minister said on Thursday that former premier Imran Khan could be jailed for life if he was found guilty of jeopardising national security by exposing a controversial diplomatic communication commonly known as cypher.
Khan used a cable sent by the Pakistan embassy in Washington in March last year to blame the US for orchestrating his ouster from power a month later.
Addressing a press conference, Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar said the minimum punishment for leaking an official secret was two years.
But the nature of crime would change 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 documents for vested interest or if it is prejudicial to the national interest than a category for [sentence] is 14 years, he added.
Fourteen years' punishment in jail is maximum in Pakistan and is also considered as life imprisonment.
Tarar clarified that the cypher, an official classified document, can neither be made public nor shared with anyone, saying that Imran was summoned by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for interrogation on July 25 in this regard.
National security was compromised by indiscriminate use of the cypher, as evident from the confessional statement of (former PM's aide) Azam Khan. Chairman PTI used it for his own political motives, he added.
Tarar said that Khan revealed the contents of the cypher during one of his political rallies, compromising the country's national security.
The law minister asserted that the cypher was not returned to the concerned authorities, adding that the case against the former premier will be thoroughly investigated on merit.
The cypher saga resurfaced after Azam Khan recorded a statement that Khan used it for political purposes.
Khan has already been implicated in scores of cases which were launched against him after his downfall in April last year.
His party is also under pressure and several senior leaders have left him.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Jul 20 2023 | 11:41 PM IST

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