Pakistan Politics 
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Founder Imran Khan and Wife Sentenced to 14 Years in Toshakhana Case, Faces Disqualification

The Friday Times | 31/01/2024

Courtesy: The Friday Times

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Legal troubles for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan grew on Wednesday as an accountability court sentenced the former prime minister and his wife, Bushra Bibi, to 14 years of rigorous imprisonment in the Toshakhana case.

The verdict was announced by Accountability Court Judge Muhammad Bashir, who also disqualified the former prime minister for ten years and fined the couple Rs1.573 billion (Rs787 million each).

During the last hearing of the case, which was also conducted in Adiala jail, the court took Bushra Bibi's statement under Section 342.

Imran informed the court that his wife had nothing to do with the case and felt humiliated by being coerced into it.

Judge Bashir resumed the hearing on Wednesday and asked Imran if he had recorded his statement. The former premier responded that he would submit his statement whenever his attorneys arrive.

"I was deceived because I was only called to mark my attendance at the hearing," the PTI founder stated.

On the other side, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) ruled that Imran's jail trial in Toshakhana and the £190 million settlement cases were properly notified.

The court also dismissed the PTI founder's pleas against the jail trial in cases lodged by the National Accountability Bureau.

Apparently, the prison trial was held in light of the threats to Imran's life, but there was no "malice" involved.

IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Tariq Jahangiri issued a detailed judgment, dismissing the petitioner's objections to the appointment of the accountability judge.

PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar Khan called the ruling "cruel," claiming that the accountability court has never issued such a decision before.
"[Other politicians] are being punished to please a leader," he stated, adding that the court did not permit cross-examination.
Barrister Gohar stated that they will submit an appeal to the High Court against the ruling. He further stated that Bushra Bibi had nothing to do with the case because she did not accept any gifts directly.
"Bushra Bibi has been sentenced to pressurise the PTI founder, and our right to defend has also been waived," he stated, hoping that justice will be done by the higher courts

This article was first published in The Friday Times, Pakistan.

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