Published On: Wed, Jan 31st, 2024

Imran Khan sentenced to 14 years in prison just one day after being jailed by second court | World | News

Former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan and his wife were sentenced to 14 years in prison for corruption yesterday, just 24 hours after another special court convicted him of leaking state secrets resulting in a 10-year prison sentence. 

Mr Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi were handed the new 14 year terms, which was the second sentence handed to Pakistan’s ex-PM in two days.  

The two sentences – which it is thought will run concurrently – come just a week before the South Asian country is due to hold an election in which he is barred from standing.  

Mr Khan, who was ousted as PM by his opponents in 2022, is already serving a three-year jail term for corruption. He has said the numerous cases against him are politically motivated and his supporters said they had been heard in ‘kangaroo courts’. Yesterday’s hearing revolved around accusations over state gifts that he and his wife received while in office, while Tuesday’s case – for which he was sentenced to 10 years – for leaking classified state documents.  

It is thought the two sentences will run concurrently, although that has not yet been confirmed so it remains to be seen how long he has to serve.  

The court has also ordered the couple to pay a fine of about 1.5 billion rupees (£4.2million).  

Mr Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party also said that the sentencing further bans their leader from future political work – he will be disqualified for 10 years from holding public office.  

The former cricketer’s lawyers said they would be launching an appeal to Pakistan’s High Court in both cases.  

Mr Khan has been detained since last August when he was arrested, serving time mostly at Adiala jail in Rawalpindi. His wife Bushra Bibi, who had been out on remand, surrendered at the jail on Wednesday. She has typically kept a low profile during their period in office.   

The two married in 2018, months before Khan was elected prime minister. Both had strongly denied the accusations brought against them by Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog that they had sold or kept state gifts received in office for personal profit. Such gifts included a jewellery set from the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.  

The PTI has described the cases against Khan as bogus, arguing the trials occurred under duress in “kangaroo courts”, where proceedings have been rushed. It said Wednesday’s case heralded “another sad day in our judicial system history”, alleging the judiciary was being “dismantled”.  

“No cross questioning allowed, no final argument concluded and decision pops up like a pre-determined process in play,” it alleged.  

Khan’s lawyers have also said he wasn’t given a chance to defend himself in a trial that moved more quickly than expected. The judge also read out the verdicts while neither Khan, Bibi or their legal team were in the courtroom, reporters at the scene said.

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