February 22nd, 2024

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan gets 14-year prison sentence in third conviction

By The Associated Press on January 30, 2024.

FILE - Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan, right, and Bushra Bibi,his wife, talk to the media before signing documents to submit surety bond over his bails in different cases, at an office of Lahore High Court in Lahore, Pakistan, on July 17, 2023. A Pakistani court on Wednesday, Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024 sentenced former Prime Minister Khan and his wife Bibi to 14 years in prison for corruption, prison officials said, a day after another special court convicted Khan for leaking state secrets and gave him a 10-year prison sentence. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary, File))

ISLAMABAD (AP) – Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and his wife were sentenced on Wednesday to 14 years in prison for corruption, his lawyer and prison officials said, a day after another special court convicted Khan of leaking state secrets and gave him a 10-year prison sentence.

The latest conviction and sentencing were Khan’s third since 2022 when he was ousted from power.

Khan and his wife were accused in the most recent case of retaining and selling state gifts when the former premier was in power.

The court also disqualified Khan for years from holding any public office, ahead of Pakistan’s Feb. 8 parliamentary elections. Khan’s lawyer Babar Awan said the former prime minister was convicted and sentenced in such a hurry that the judge did not wait for the arrival of his legal team.

He said Khan’s basic human and fundamental rights had been violated, and that the latest conviction and sentencing would be challenged in higher courts.

“It seems the judge was in a hurry to announce the verdict,” he said.

Zulfiqar Bukhari, the chief spokesperson for Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, or PTI, also confirmed the conviction and sentencing.

The latest development came three weeks after Khan and his wife, Bushra Bibi, were indicted on graft charges for retaining state gifts including jewelry and watches from Saudi Arabia’s government, authorities said.

The latest court order was another blow to Khan. He and Bibi had pleaded not guilty when the charges were read out at a court at the prison in the garrison city of Rawalpindi earlier this month.

Khan briefly attended the court hearing when the judge announced the verdict.

Khan was ousted from power in a no-confidence vote in Parliament in April 2022. Despite his conviction and sentencing, he remains popular and is currently serving time on a corruption conviction and has multiple other legal cases hanging over him.

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