Pakistan's ex-PM Imran Khan acquitted in state secrets case, will remain in jail

A Pakistan high court on Monday overturned a treason conviction against former prime minister Imran Khan, who remains in jail on other charges.

The conviction was one of three slapped on Khan in the runup to February elections, which he claims were orchestrated to prevent his return to power.

The decision by a two-member bench at Islamabad High Court was announced by Chief Justice Aamer Farooq, an AFP court reporter witnessed.

"This is the first big case which was part of the political victimisation against Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi which has been dashed to the ground," Salman Safdar, a lawyer for Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, told AFP outside of court.

Khan was convicted along with Qureshi, his former foreign secretary, of making public a classified cable sent to Islamabad by Pakistan's ambassador in Washington in 2022.

He had touted the cypher as evidence that the United States had conspired to force him from power in 2022, when a no-confidence vote saw him replaced by the opposition.

The United States and Pakistan's military have denied the accusation.

He has also been found guilty of graft over gifts he received in his time as premier between 2018 and 2022.

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