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Corruption: Ex-Pakistan PM, wife sentenced to 14 years


Corruption: Ex-Pakistan PM, wife sentenced to 14 years

Former Prime Minister Imran Khan and his wife, Bushra Bibi, have been sentenced to 14 years in prison over corruption charges.

The charges relate to the illegal retention and sale of state gifts, including jewelry and watches, from Saudi Arabia’s government during Khan’s tenure from 2018 to 2022.

The special federal court ruling also imposes a ten-year ban on holding public office and a fine of over $2.8 million each.

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The hearing took place in a prison center near Islamabad, where Khan is already serving a three-year jail sentence for a separate corruption conviction.

The court’s decision comes just ahead of the February 8 parliamentary elections in Pakistan.

Khan’s party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, confirmed the conviction and criticized it as “another sad day in our judicial system history.” PTI plans to challenge the verdict in a higher court.

Khan and his former foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, were also sentenced to ten years each on Tuesday for charges related to revealing state secrets.

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Khan’s lawyer, Salman Safdar, criticized the verdict as unconstitutional, emphasizing that the legal team was not allowed to enter the jail during the trial.

The recent convictions add to the challenges faced by Khan’s party in the upcoming elections, where the Election Commission of Pakistan has barred PTI from using its cricket bat logo on ballot papers.

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Despite the crackdown and legal issues, public opinion polls show Khan remains popular, and PTI is the largest national political party.

Khan denies any wrongdoing and accuses the military of orchestrating charges against him.

The interim government rejects allegations of interference in politics, but critics raise concerns about the military’s historical role in Pakistan’s politics.