Infostani International: Imran Khan and his wife, Bushra Bibi, face a 14-year jail sentence in the Toshakhana case, marking Imran’s third conviction. The National Accountability Bureau alleges they retained undervalued gifts during his prime ministership. The verdict comes days before the February 8 elections, posing challenges for PTI amid a state crackdown.
Imran Khan and Wife Sentenced to 14 Years in Toshakhana Case Amidst Political Turmoil
In another setback for Imran Khan and his party, the former premier and his wife Bushra Bibi were handed a 14-year jail sentence on Wednesday in the Toshakhana reference.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed a fresh reference against the couple last month, accusing them of retaining a jewelry set from the Saudi crown prince against an undervalued assessment.
- This marks Imran’s third conviction, including the recent cipher case.
- Imran is already out of the race for the February 8 general elections.
- An Islamabad accountability court indicted them earlier this month, alleging that during Imran’s prime ministership, they received 108 gifts from various heads of state and foreign dignitaries.
Imran Khan Faces Third Conviction Ahead of Elections: PTI Decries Verdict as ‘Complete Destruction of Law’
The verdict comes just eight days before the February 8 general elections, with the PTI contesting without an electoral symbol amid a state crackdown. This is Imran’s third conviction; a day earlier, a special court sentenced him and his foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to 10 years in prison for breaching state secrets.
Imran was previously convicted in the Toshakhana case on Aug 5, and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. The Islamabad High Court (IHC) had suspended his sentence, but a division bench later rejected his petition seeking suspension of the conviction. As per today’s verdict, Imran and Bushra are barred from holding any public office for 10 years and fined Rs787 million each. PTI terms the verdict as ‘complete destruction of law.’
PTI Controversy: Allegations of Unfair Trials and Denied Defense Rights in Cipher and Toshakhana Cases
The PTI alleges another kangaroo trial with no right to defense, stating that both the cipher and Toshakhana cases lack a basis to stand in higher courts. Imran’s legal team had previously requested the restoration of the right of cross-examination, which was denied by Judge Bashir. Today’s hearing took place at Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail.
After marking his attendance, Imran, questioning the haste, was told to submit his statement immediately. Refusing, he left the courtroom, leading to the court sentencing him and his wife in absentia.
Bushra Surrenders to NAB Custody – PTI Plans Appeals and Focuses on Elections Amidst Legal Scrutiny and Disqualification
Following the verdict, Bushra surrendered to authorities at Adiala Jail, taken into custody by NAB.
The PTI plans to appeal both convictions, with PTI Secretary General Omar Ayub Khan urging a focus on the February 8 elections. Political analysts discuss the timing and PTI’s legal team conduct, highlighting a potential problem.
Imran’s Toshakhana case, originally filed by ruling party lawmakers, alleges he concealed details of gifts during his term. Imran had faced legal issues over gift retention, leading to his disqualification by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
Timeline of Imran Khan’s Disqualification and Legal Proceedings
The ECP found him disqualified under Article 63(1)(p) of the Constitution on Oct 21, 2022. The ECP then approached the Islamabad sessions court, seeking criminal proceedings against Imran for misleading officials about the gifts.
On May 10, 2023, Imran was indicted, but the Islamabad High Court (IHC) stayed proceedings in July, directing a re-examination. In December 2023, NAB filed a fresh reference against them in an accountability court.