Islamabad court rules Imran’s dishonesty has been 'established beyond doubt'

Khan has urged his supporters to continue peaceful protests.
FILE - Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan (C) leaves after appearing in the Supreme Court in Islamabad on July 26, 2023. (Photo | AFP)
FILE - Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan (C) leaves after appearing in the Supreme Court in Islamabad on July 26, 2023. (Photo | AFP)

NEW DELHI: An Islamabad trial court has declared former Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan, guilty of corrupt practices in the Toshakhana case and they have sentenced him to three years in jail. Punjab Police arrested him from his Zaman Park residence in Lahore on Saturday from where he was taken to Islamabad. Khan is technically disqualified from holding any public office for five years in Pakistan, under their Constitution.

Imran Khan and his lawyers were absent from court when the court announced his sentence. A fine of Pakistani Rupee 100,000 was also imposed. The complaint was filed by the Election Commission of Pakistans (ECP) criminal complaint against Khan, who is the chief of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party. Khan was alleged for concealing details of Toshakhana gifts.

“The court finds it more than convincing that the complainant (ECP) had provided confidence-inspiring, well-knitted, and corroborated evidence. So the charge against the accused has successfully been proven that he had committed offenses of corrupt practices by making false statements/declarations regarding assets gained through gifts from Toshakhana and disposed off during 2018-19 and 2019-20,’’ according to the order copy issued by the Additional District and Sessions Judge.

Khan has urged his supporters to continue peaceful protests.

In a message that Khan recorded before his arrest, he said, ‘’My arrest was expected to. I recorded this message before my arrest. I urge you not to sit inside your houses quietly and you will be trampled underfoot like ants. This movement is for you and your children. This is another step towards the implementation of the London Plan, but I want my workers to remain calm, steadfast, and calm. We do not bow down to anyone except God.’’

Meanwhile, the arrest warrant authorized the Islamabad Police Chief to arrest Khan and send him to Central Prison Adiala, Rawalpindi, for serving out his sentence.

Local news footage showed Khan’s supporters, including lawyers, protesting outside his residence, while a large police contingent was seen taking Khan to jail.

Khan’s arrest took place nearly three months after his first arrest on May 9th, when he was detained in Islamabad from the high court premises in the Al-Qadir Trust case. Khan was released a day later. However, his arrest was followed by many instances of violence where military installations were targeted. The whip was cracked on PTI workers and even the top leadership.

Pakistan’s Information and Broadcasting Minister, Marriyum Aurangzeb, has said that Khan refused to respond to the charges against him and resisted attempts at interrogation.

“The entire case took over 13 months. There was no political motive of the government behind his arrest. Out of the 40 hearings in the case, Khan appeared for only three. This has nothing to do with upcoming elections,’’ said Aurangzeb.

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