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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Imran Khan, Ex-PM of Pakistan, Gets 3-Year Jail Term

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has been sentenced to three years in jail after being found guilty of corruption allegations. The charges revolve around his failure to declare money earned from selling gifts he received while in office. Imran Khan denies these charges and intends to appeal the verdict.

Following the court ruling, Mr. Khan was taken into custody from his residence in Lahore. In a pre-recorded statement on X (formerly Twitter), he urged his supporters not to remain silent and called for their continued support.

Imran Khan, a former cricketer-turned-politician, was elected Prime Minister in 2018 but was removed in a no-confidence vote last year after a falling out with Pakistan’s influential military. Since his removal, he has been facing more than 100 cases against him, which he claims are politically motivated.

The recent verdict focused on allegations that he inaccurately declared details of gifts from foreign dignitaries and the proceeds from their supposed sale. These gifts, valued at over 140 million Pakistani rupees, reportedly included Rolex watches, a ring, and cuff links.

His lawyer, Gohar Khan, expressed dismay at the verdict, asserting they were not given a fair chance to present their defense and that the trial lacked justice.

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As the court’s decision was announced, a crowd outside the building, including some prosecuting lawyers, chanted accusations against Imran Khan.

Imran Khan managed to avoid arrest for several months, with his supporters sometimes clashing with the police to prevent his detention. In May, he was arrested but later released on the grounds of an illegal arrest.

Mr. Khan’s party has faced intense pressure from authorities, leading to the departure of many senior officials and the arrest of thousands of supporters allegedly involved in protests following his arrest.

Imran Khan has been an outspoken critic of Pakistan’s military, and analysts speculate that the military played a role in his election win in 2018. He has been campaigning for early elections since being ousted.

A conviction would disqualify him from running for office, potentially for life. Pakistan’s parliament will be dissolved on August 9, leading to a caretaker government taking over until the elections, which are constitutionally due to take place by early November.

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