The petition was filed in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Sunday, a day before the court is set to take up Mr Khan’s plea.
Last week, IHC Chief Justice Aamir Farooq passed an order declaring that the bail application would be heard in an open court.
A source told Dawn that FIA sought proceedings behind closed doors due to “sensitive information and documents involved in the case”. The FIA is concerned that proceedings in the open court would be discussed in the media, the source added.
Meanwhile, an FIA official said the hearing is “likely to be held in-camera” as the government and PTI “understand this situation”.
The PTI has, however, reiterated its demand for an open trial and said Mr Khan’s legal team would oppose the FIA’s request.
PTI spokesperson Rauf Hassan while talking to Dawn said, “We even say that proceedings, especially of [cases involving] Imran Khan, should be aired live on electronic media”.
Even the party’s core committee has demanded an open trial of the party chief, especially in this sensitive case, he added.
Mr Khan is currently being held at the Adiala Jail, where he was moved from Attock Jail last week on the IHC orders.
While passing an order on Mr Khan’s petition for relocation, the court said the ex-prime minister was entitled to better facilities in jail than what he was given in the Attock prison.
The FIA sources said Mr Khan’s trial in the cipher case was already being conducted in-camera by a special court in Attock Jail and there was no issue of open proceedings there.
Therefore, the agency has demanded a similar treatment for Mr Khan’s bail application.
On Saturday, FIA filed a challan (charge sheet) in a special court established under the Official Secrets Act, declaring Mr Khan and former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi as principal accused.
The charge sheet was submitted days after the IHC chief justice ordered the agency to expedite the process.
The other suspects in the case, including former principal secretary to PM Azam Khan and former federal minister Asad Umar, have also been named in the challan as accused who won’t be tried.
The FIA invoked Sections 5 and 9 of the Official Secrets Act, which may lead to death sentence or two to 14 years’ imprisonment if proven. While the investigation agency cited 27 witnesses in the challan, the sources said that about a dozen of them would be produced in the witness box.
Published in Dawn, October 2nd, 2023