Ex-Pakistani PM Imran Khan sentenced to new jail term
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and his wife have been sentenced to 14 years in prison in a corruption case. This comes after another court ruling in which Khan was given ten years for leaking state secrets.
The politician and his wife, Bushra Bibi, were sentenced by a Pakistani accountability court on Wednesday in the city of Rawalpindi, not far from the capital, Islamabad. Both were charged with the illegal sale of state gifts while Khan was prime minister from 2018 to 2022.
In addition to the sentence, the two have been barred from running for public office for ten years and fined $2.7 million.
This comes after Khan was sentenced to ten years on Tuesday for leaking state secrets. The charges are related to a cipher, a classified cable that was sent to Islamabad by the Pakistani ambassador to Washington in 2022, which allegedly suggested that the US wanted Khan ousted over his neutrality in the Ukraine conflict.
Commenting on the verdict, Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party (PTI) denounced what it called the “complete destruction of every existing law in Pakistan in two days.”
“Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi have faced yet another kangaroo trial in which no right to defense was given to both. Like cipher, this case has no basis to stand in any higher court.”
Both sentences come ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled for February 8. The PTI said the “atrocities against [Khan] will be avenged by the power of the vote.”
Khan, a former cricketer-turned-politician, was ousted in a no-confidence vote in 2022, with the opposition accusing him of mismanaging the economy and foreign policy. Khan claims that he was overthrown as a result of a US conspiracy.
Since then, the former leader has fought dozens of legal battles. Islamabad’s attempts to prosecute him sparked massive public unrest with numerous casualties.