OUSTED Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and his wife have been jailed for 14 years after being accused of illegally flogging state gifts.
APImran Khan, right, and wife Bushra at an office of Lahore High Court in Lahore, Pakistan, in 2023[/caption]
AFPKhan and his wife arriving to appear at a high court in Lahore on May 15, 2023[/caption]
The embattled former politician is already serving a three-year prison sentence over corruption allegations.
And on Wednesday, his party – the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) – said he and wife Bushra Khan were each jailed for 14 years by an anti-graft court in Islamabad.
Bushra Khan, commonly known as Bushra Bibi, was arrested shortly after the verdict, PTI said.
The verdict also includes a ten-year disqualification from Khan holding public office.
Khan’s team lashed out and denied the charges, saying: “Another sad day in our judicial system history, which is being dismantled.
“No cross-questioning allowed, no final argument concluded and decision pops up like a pre-determined process in play.
“This ridiculous decision will also be challenged.”
Khan was also handed a three-year prison sentence in August by another court for selling gifts worth more than 140 million rupees (£395k) in state possession and received during his 2018 to 2022 premiership.
Wednesday’s verdict was linked to the same matter, but followed an investigation by the country’s top anti-graft body, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), which had also charged his wife in the case.
Prosecutors accused Khan and his wife of selling state gifts when the former premier was in power.
Khan’s earlier three-year sentence was later suspended but Khan remains behind bars in connection with other cases.
He has said that he legally purchased the state gifts.
Government officials have alleged Khan’s aides sold the gifts in Dubai.
Khan’s earlier conviction resulted in a five-year ban from holding public office, ruling him out of the upcoming February 8 election.
Wednesday’s verdict, however, means that he will be ineligible to hold office till he is 81.
While Khan has been found guilty in two separate cases, this is the first sentencing for his wife Bushra.
The two were married in 2018, months before Khan ascended to premiership for the first time.
It was Khan’s third marriage after two divorces.
Although Khan will not be on the ballot for the February election, he remains a potent political force because of his grassroots following and anti-establishment rhetoric.
He says the legal cases against him were a plot to sideline him ahead of the vote.
Pakistan has seen violent demonstrations since after Khan’s arrest in Mat 2023.
Authorities have cracked down on his supporters and party since then.
In May last year, footage showed Khan being arrested and bundled into a truck by riot cops.
After the politician was whisked away, a scuffle broke out between the former premier’s supporters and police.
His lawyer was left injured, as were several cops and members of the public.
Khan’s furious followers then attacked government and military property across the country.
Khan – who captained the Pakistan national cricket team through the 1980s and early 1990s – again denied wrongdoing and was released on bail within days.
The former PM previously accused Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif of orchestrating a plot to assassinate him after he was shot at a rally.
Khan was delivering a speech from his campaign truck in Wazirabad, in the east of the country, when a gunman opened fire.
Shocking footage shows the moment a hail of gunfire ripped through the former premier‘s convoy – hitting him in the shin.
Twitter/nadeemmalikFootage showed a huge number of riot cops surrounding the former Pakistan PM as he was arrested last May[/caption]
GettyKhan captained the Pakistan national cricket team through the 1980s and early 90s[/caption]Leave a comment