Imran Khan, former Pakistan captain and Prime Minister, has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for the Toshakhana reference case, in which he was found guilty of selling gifts without declaring proceeds for tax purposes. His wife, Bushra Bibi, was also convicted and sentenced to 14 years imprisonment and fined PKR 787 million. Imran was previously banned from running for political office for five years, which has now been extended to ten years.
Just a day earlier, Imran was sentenced to an additional ten years in jail on a separate charge. He was already serving a three-year prison term from a previous conviction related to selling state gifts. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), the party Imran founded, criticized the trial court’s proceedings and called it a “sham trial”.
Imran’s legal troubles have escalated since he was removed from office in April 2022, with over a hundred cases registered against him. His wife, Bushra Bibi, has been sentenced to prison for the first time. The PTI has been banned from participating in the upcoming general elections, and political rallies organized by the party have been disrupted by authorities.
The International Human Rights Federation condemned Imran’s trial, stating that he was denied access to his chosen counsel, which they deemed a violation of international law. Despite his legal battles, recent independent polls have shown Imran to be the most popular politician in Pakistan, even though he and his party are unable to contest the upcoming elections. Imran’s legal team is expected to appeal the sentencing.
Danyal Rasool is ESPNcricinfo’s Pakistan correspondent. @Danny61000