Thursday 20th June 2024
Thursday 20th June 2024
गृहपृष्ठInternationalPakistan ex-PM Imran Khan and wife get 14 years jail in graft case

Pakistan ex-PM Imran Khan and wife get 14 years jail in graft case

ISLAMABAD  – Former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan and his wife were sentenced Wednesday to 14 years in jail after being found guilty of graft in a case involving gifts he received while premier.

The verdict, a week before national elections, comes a day after Khan was given a prison sentence of 10 years in a case related to leaking state secrets.

“Another sad day in our judicial system history, which is being dismantled,” a spokesman for Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party told media. It was not immediately clear if Khan’s sentences were to run consecutively or concurrently following a trial held inside the jail where he has been detained for much of the time since his arrest in August.

But Khan’s lawyer Salman Safdar confirmed to AFP he had been sentenced alongside his wife, Bushra Bibi, who had been on remand throughout the trial. “Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi have been sentenced. Bushra Bibi has not been arrested as yet,” Safdar said.

The pair married in 2018, months before Khan was elected prime minister. Bibi, a faith healer who met Khan when he approached her for spiritual guidance, is rarely seen in public. About 127 million Pakistanis are eligible to vote on election day next Thursday, with Khan and PTI at the centre of debate despite being squeezed out of the limelight.

The ballot has already been marred by allegations of rigging, with Khan barred from running over a previous graft conviction and his party subject to a massive crackdown. Since being ousted in 2022, Khan has been buried by court cases he claims have been triggered to prevent his return to office after a campaign of defiance against Pakistan’s military kingmakers.

Khan had accused the powerful military — with whom he ruled in partnership for much of his tenure — of orchestrating his ouster in a US-backed conspiracy. When Khan was first arrested in May last year, riots broke out across the country. But his street power was killed by a military crackdown that saw thousands of supporters detained — 100 of whom are facing closed-door military trials — and dozens of senior leaders forced underground.

“You have to take revenge for every injustice with your vote on February 8,” Khan said in a statement posted on his X profile reacting to his 10-year sentence on Tuesday. “Tell them that we are not sheep that can be driven with a stick.”-(AFP)

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