Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan and Wife Sentenced to 14 Years in Jail for Corruption

Just a week before national elections, former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, and his wife, Bushra Bibi, have been sentenced to 14 years in jail for illegally selling state gifts. The verdict comes as part of an ongoing corruption case involving the couple, who were charged with keeping and selling state gifts, including jewelry and watches, from Saudi Arabia’s government.

This latest sentencing follows a series of legal troubles for Khan, who has been in jail since August and was earlier barred from politics for five years. The charges against him involve unlawfully selling state gifts worth over 140 million rupees ($763,300) acquired during his tenure from 2018 to 2022.

The court’s decision, announced a day after Khan received a 10-year prison term for leaking state secrets, includes a 10-year disqualification from holding any public office. Khan and Bibi had pleaded not guilty to the charges, asserting that the state gifts were legally acquired.

The government officials allege that Khan’s aides sold the gifts in Dubai. The National Accountability Bureau, Pakistan’s top anti-graft body, conducted an investigation leading to this recent sentencing. Khan’s earlier three-year sentence was suspended, but he remains in custody due to other pending cases.

The political context adds complexity to the situation, as Pakistan has a history of sidelining or arresting former prime ministers ahead of elections if they are perceived as a challenge to the security establishment. The upcoming elections on February 8 are already under scrutiny, with Khan barred from running, and his party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), facing a crackdown.

Khan’s party has denounced the verdict, calling it another blow to the judicial system, claiming that due process was not followed. The legal team intends to challenge the decision in higher courts. The sentencing also includes a hefty fine, and Khan’s disqualification from holding public office until he is 81.

The situation further complicates the political landscape, with Khan’s rival, Nawaz Sharif, having a clear path to a fourth term in office after being acquitted of all charges. The elections are already marked by allegations of rigging and a significant crackdown on PTI, raising concerns about the credibility of the electoral process.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *