Jailer says there is “no permanent facility” for phone calls on WhatsApp
“PCO facility available for making phone calls,” jail superintendent says.
Superintendent insists he can’t think of disobeying court order.
ISLAMABAD: The Adiala jail superintendent Wednesday requested the court to dismiss the contempt of court petition filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan against him for going against court orders and not allowing him to speak to his sons over phone.
The superintendent’s request came after he submitted his reply in the special court, established under the Official Secrets Act, after being issued a contempt notice a day earlier.
“Can’t even think of disobeying the court order,” he stated in his reply.
The superintendent told the court there is no permanent facility to make phone calls abroad on WhatsApp. He informed the court that the PTI chief spoke with his children on October 18, after the jail took special measures to make that happen.
He told the court that in the letter issued by the inspector-general jail, pertaining to the accused in the Official Secrets Act, a PCO facility is available for making phone calls.
“Arrangements are made for prisoners to speak with family and lawyers at the jail PCO,” he said, adding that the court can direct the Punjab Home Department to amend the rules with regard to making phone calls.
The court, meanwhile, adjourned the hearing of the contempt petition till Monday due to the absence of Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain.
A day earlier, three witnesses provided their testimonies against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief and the party’s Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi pertaining to the cipher case.
Judge Zulqarnain, presided over the proceedings at the Adiala jail under the special Official Secrets Act court. The PTI legal representatives included Barristers Salman Safdar, Taimur and Gohar Ali Khan, while special prosecutors comprised Shah Khawar, Zulfikar Abbas Naqvi and Raja Rizwan Abbasi.
The court, meanwhile, has called in three more witnesses for the next hearing, which has been adjourned until November 10.
Before the witnesses’ statements and cross-examination were conducted, legal teams consulted with Khan and Qureshi. Furthermore, the PTI chief met with his wife, Bushra Bibi, and sisters, Aleema Khan, Noreen Khanum and Uzma Khan, within the jail premises.
Qureshi’s daughter, Mehrabano, was also present during the trial. She also spoke with the media outside the jail, demanded justice and a fair trial for her father.
“Let the family in; no one can have security concerns from their family. Fair trial is my father’s right and as a daughter, I have the right to see the trial,” she added.
IHC asks govt to ensure cipher trial is conducted appropriately
Meanwhile, Islamabad High Court’s Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb asked the attorney general of Pakistan to ensure that the cipher case trial was not conducted in an inappropriate manner, otherwise, it might collapse like a house of cards.
An IHC bench, comprising Justice Aurangzeb and Justice Saman Rafat Imtiaz, heard the intra-court appeal filed by Khan against his jail trial and the appointment of the special court’s judge in the cipher case.
The attorney general assured the bench that no rights of the accused in the cipher case would be violated. Meanwhile, the court turned down a request to stop the cipher case’s trial proceedings, without hearing him.
The appellant’s counsel, Salman Akram Raja, requested the IHC to order an open trial in the cipher case, maintaining that the PTI chief was accused of making public the content of the cipher, but the same classified document was not made part of the charge sheet in the case. The court adjourned the matter till November 14, after the attorney general sought time to submit his arguments.