Pakistan, ex prime minister Imran Khan sentenced to 3 years for corruption

Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan was sentenced to three years in prison for corruption and arrested. State television reported it. Khan had come under investigation for a case of gifts received when he was prime minister, a post he held until April 2022, and sold illegally. Pakistan State Television announced, “Judge Humayun Dilawar has announced that he has been involved in corrupt practices.” Khan did not attend the hearing. The judge ordered the arrest of him.

Over 150 lawsuits against Khan

Legal experts say the conviction could end Khan’s chances of running in national elections which are due to be held before early November. The former prime minister is facing more than 150 lawsuits brought against him since he was ousted in April last year – charges he says are politically motivated. Khan’s legal team said he will appeal immediately. “Importantly, no witnesses have been given the opportunity to present, nor has time been given to gather arguments,” a lawyer for the team said.

Khan already arrested last May

Soon after the sentence, the police entered his home in Lahore and arrested him. In May, Khan was arrested and briefly detained on corruption charges in Islamabad, sparking riots, with fatalities, in which supporters of his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party took to the streets and rallied clashed with the police. In the aftermath of his release after three days of detention, the PTI was subjected to a crackdown with thousands of arrests, reports of intimidation and gagging of the press. The case that led to his arrest today centers on gifts received and not declared correctly when he was prime minister. Khan has long warned he would be arrested to prevent him from running in elections later this year. Parliament is likely to be dissolved after he completes his term in the next two weeks, with national elections due in mid-November or before. Khan came to power in 2018 thanks to a surge of popular support, an anti-corruption manifesto and the backing of the powerful military establishment. When he was ousted in April last year, analysts say it was because he lost the support of senior generals. In his re-election campaign, Khan has emphasized the power the top military wields behind the scenes, an issue historically seen as a red line in Pakistan.