Pakistan’s ex-PM Khan jailed for corruption

Status: 08/05/2023 11:17 a.m

The verdict has been reached in the corruption trial against Pakistan’s ex-Prime Minister Khan: the popular opposition politician must be imprisoned for three years. Khan’s ambitions for a comeback are on hold for the time being.

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has been sentenced to three years in prison for corruption. “Judge Humayun Dilawar announced that involvement in corrupt activities had been proven,” state broadcaster Pakistan TV reported. According to a representative of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, the ex-prime minister, who was not in the courtroom during the hearing, was arrested after the judge’s verdict.

The verdict came amid allegations that Khan withheld government gifts, including jewelry and a gold-plated AK-47, while he was prime minister from 2018-2022. In total, more than 150 cases of corruption have been brought against the former cricket star since he was ousted from office by a vote of no confidence in April 2022.

Supporters gathered outside Khan’s home to protest the verdict and detention.

Political career stopped for the time being

In the nuclear power of Pakistan, with its more than 240 million inhabitants, a power struggle has been raging between the family dynasties that are in government and the ousted ex-prime minister. Many observers describe the actions of the judiciary against Khan as politically motivated, and Khan agrees. He was actually hoping for a political comeback before the parliamentary elections in autumn, but the verdict has now barred him from holding political offices for the next five years.

He was briefly detained in May. At the time, his supporters had stormed military installations in protest. Since then, the 70-year-old has openly criticized the powerful military in the South Asian country in numerous interviews.

Khan’s lawyers said they would appeal immediately. There was no way to bring witnesses or collect evidence, it said as a reason.

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