Pakistan: Imran Khan sentenced to 14 years on corruption charges


ISLAMABAD (AP) — Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and his wife were sentenced to 14 years in prison Wednesday on corruption charges, their lawyer and prison officials said. a day later Another special court convicted Khan of leaking state secrets and sentenced him to 10 years in prison.

The latest conviction and sentence was Khan’s third conviction from 2022, after he was ousted from power, and ahead of Pakistan’s February 8 parliamentary elections. The sentences are concurrent.

Khan and his wife were accused in the most recent corruption case of possessing and selling government gifts while in power.

The court disqualified Khan from holding any public office for 10 years.

His lawyer Babar Awan said the former prime minister was convicted and sentenced so quickly that the judge did not wait for his legal team to arrive.

He said Khan’s basic human and fundamental rights had been violated, and the latest legal setbacks would be challenged in higher courts.

“It seems the judge was in a hurry to pass judgment,” he said.

Zulfikar Bukhari, chief spokesperson of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, or PTI, also confirmed the conviction and sentence.

In a statement, Bukhari said Khan’s conviction and sentence was “another sad day in the history of our judicial system that is being destroyed.”

Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi were convicted three weeks ago on corruption charges for possessing state gifts from the Saudi Arabian government, including jewelry and watches, officials said. He pleaded not guilty.

Bibi was absent when the judge delivered the verdict but later walked into the court to avoid arrest. He will be handed over to the jail authorities to serve his sentence.

Khan appeared briefly at Wednesday’s hearing but left the courtroom when the judge was about to read the verdict. He said he could not stay there without his lawyer and asked the judge to wait. His request was rejected.

His lawyer Awan told The Associated Press that the former prime minister was being sidelined ahead of next week’s vote, but said his party remains popular. Analysts say that Khan has a strong hold on the grassroots level.

Awan also said that Khan’s trial was conducted against international and domestic laws.

Khan was ousted from power in a no-confidence vote in parliament in April 2022. Despite his conviction and sentence, he remains popular and is serving his sentence. on a conviction of corruption and is multiple other legal matters Hanging over him.

Pakistan has a history of arresting or sidelining former prime ministers before elections if they are considered a challenge to the security establishment.

In 2018, three-time prime minister and Khan’s rival Nawaz Sharif was troubled by legal cases and a jail sentence. Khan’s party won the elections and formed a coalition government.

This time, the way has been cleared for Sharif for a fourth term after the Supreme Court acquitted him of all charges. Lifetime ban lifted Barring politicians with criminal convictions from contesting elections.


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