ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – The trial of jailed former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan will be held behind closed doors, his lawyer said on Thursday, a day after he was indicted for leaking state secrets, blocking his chances to contest a national election in February.
The charges are related to a classified cable sent to Islamabad by Pakistan’s ambassador in Washington last year, which Khan is accused of making public.
The decision was taken at the opening of the trial on a jail premises in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, said the lawyer, Naeem Panjutha, in a social media post on X, formerly Twitter.
“The plea to hold an in-camera trial has been accepted,” he said, adding no media will be allowed.
“What kind of a justice is this?”
Lawyers and human rights groups say a closed door proceeding does not fulfil requirements of a fair trial.
Khan has previously said the contents of the cable appeared in the media from other sources.
A guilty verdict under the Official Secrets Act could bring up to 10 years in prison, lawyers said.
It is the second time Khan has been indicted on the same charges after a superior court struck down an earlier indictment on procedural grounds.
The trial is being conducted in jail on security grounds. Khan has been in jail since he was convicted and sentenced to three years on corruption charges on Aug. 5.
(Reporting by Asif Shahzad; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)