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Imran Khan sentenced to 14 years in prison

Imran Khan sentenced to 14 years in prison

  • Imran Khan, former Pakistan PM and cricket legend, sentenced to 14 years in prison in the Toshakhana reference case.
  • Imran fined PKR 787 million; political ban extended to ten years; PTI faces election ban and crackdown.
  • Ongoing political turmoil as Imran’s legal troubles escalate; expected appeal amid nationwide internet blackouts and alleged human rights violations

In a shocking turn of events, former prime minister of Pakistan and cricket legend Imran Khan, along with his wife Bushra Bibi, has been sentenced to 14 years in prison in the infamous Toshakhana reference case. The case, which revolves around the alleged sale of gifts without declaring the proceeds for tax purposes, has brought about a significant legal downfall for the charismatic leader.

Khan, known for leading Pakistan to victory in the 1992 ODI World Cup, has also been slapped with a hefty fine of PKR 787 million (approximately US$2.9 million). Furthermore, his political ban has been extended from five to ten years, marking a severe blow to his political career.

This conviction follows a separate charge that resulted in a ten-year jail sentence, which, despite being suspended, did not lead to Imran’s release. The current 14-year sentence is set to run concurrently with the earlier ten-year term.

Imran Khan’s PTI not part of elections 2024

Imran Khan’s political party, PTI, alleges a disregard for the law by the trial court and claims that the proceedings expose bias against the former prime minister. The party, banned from contesting elections just eight days before the upcoming general elections in Pakistan, also faces the dispersal of political rallies and a de facto ban on mentioning Imran’s name on Pakistani television.

The sentencing comes amid a broader state crackdown against Khan, with allegations of a ban on PTI contesting elections and the dispersal of political rallies. The PTI’s attempts to host virtual fundraisers have coincided with nationwide internet blackouts, although authorities deny any relation between the blackouts and PTI events.

The International Federation for Human Rights has condemned the denial of access to chosen counsel as a violation of international law. Imran Khan, once considered the most popular politician in recent independent polls, has faced multiple cases since his removal as prime minister in April 2022.

Imran’s arrest in May 2023 triggered violent uprisings, an internet blackout, and the arrests of his political supporters. Despite being the focus of a significant political crackdown, there has been no immediate statement from Imran or his legal team following the recent sentence. However, there is an expectation of an appeal from Imran and his legal team as the country braces itself for general elections amid this political turmoil.

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