Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan sentenced to three years in jail for corruption charges involving concealed state gift earnings. Protests and appeals ensue. Imran Khan’s cricket legacy adds to the complexity.
Former Pakistan Prime Minister and cricket legend, Imran Khan, has been arrested and handed a three-year prison sentence due to corruption charges. The 70-year-old, who served as the country’s leader from 2018 to 2022, was found guilty by a Pakistan trial court of not disclosing funds from state gifts to the Election Commission of Pakistan, as reported by Reuters. His political party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), has lodged an appeal with the nation’s Supreme Court.
Prior attempts to apprehend Imran at his residence were met with strong resistance from his supporters, thwarting multiple efforts. His arrest on May 9 sparked widespread protests and unrest throughout the country. Consequently, a severe crackdown on his party followed, including a controversial bill seeking to try his backers in military courts, a move that clashes with international legal standards.
Although the Supreme Court ordered his release just two days after the initial arrest, Imran has since faced over 150 legal cases. In various interviews and social media broadcasts, he expressed concerns about the potential for imprisonment.
The case revolves around the Toshakhana affair, where Imran was convicted of concealing earnings from the sale of state gifts to the Election Commission of Pakistan. The court levied the maximum allowable penalty of a three-year jail term along with a fine of PKR 100,000. Imran’s legal team has promptly appealed the decision. Per legal protocol, the appellate court can suspend the sentence pending the appeal’s outcome.
Before his political foray, Imran Khan was renowned for his cricketing prowess, representing Pakistan in 88 Tests and 175 ODIs. His leadership led Pakistan to victory in the 1992 World Cup.