Pak court acquits ex-PM Imran Khan in protest case related to Toshakhana scam

The case was registered against the 71-year-old Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Khan and other politicians at Aabpara Police Station for protesting against the Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) Toshakhana corruption verdict in 2022, which disqualified him from holding office for a limited time.
Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan.
Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan.

ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani court on Wednesday acquitted former prime minister Imran Khan and several senior party colleagues in a case registered against them for protesting against the jailed premier's disqualification by the election commission in the Toshakhana corruption case.

Other leaders who have been exonerated in the case by the district and sessions court here are Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Sheikh Rasheed, Asad Qaiser, Shehryar Afridi, Faisal Javed, Raja Khurram Nawaz and Ali Nawaz Awan.

Judicial Magistrate Yasir Mehmood pronounced the verdict, which was reserved last week on the petitions seeking acquittal, during the hearing on Wednesday, the Geo News reported.

The case was registered against the 71-year-old Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Khan and other politicians at Aabpara Police Station for protesting against the Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) Toshakhana corruption verdict in 2022, which disqualified him from holding office for a limited time.

The Toshakhana is a department under the administrative control of the Cabinet Division and stores precious gifts given to rulers, parliamentarians, bureaucrats, and officials by heads of other governments and states and foreign dignitaries.

The Toshakhana issue over the sale of state gifts received by the former cricketer-turned-politician became a major issue in national politics after the ECP disqualified Khan for making “false statements and incorrect declaration”.

Khan had earlier contended that recent amendments to the Elections Act 2017 limit the ECP's jurisdiction in deciding the qualification or disqualification of a member based on a court conviction.

He had accused the ECP of acting with unlawful zeal and haste to exclude him from the February 8 general elections rather than ensuring fair and free elections.

On August 5 last year, Khan was sentenced to three years in imprisonment and fined Rs 100,000 in the Toshakhana corruption case, a conviction later suspended by the Islamabad High Court.

Khan has been facing a slew of charges ranging from corruption to terrorism since his removal as the premier in 2022.

The PTI founder has been in jail since last August and was convicted in some cases ahead of a nationwide election earlier this year.

He is also fighting dozens of other cases.

The only hurdle keeping him behind bars is the iddat or the un-Islamic marriage case, whose proceedings are underway, and the judge expects the case to be wrapped up within this month, according to the Geo TV report.

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