Ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan Arrested and Sentenced in Lahore: In a significant turn of events, former Prime Minister Imran Khan was arrested in Lahore and sentenced to a three-year prison term for his involvement in the illegal sale of state gifts. This development has been widely covered by local media channels, with the verdict being delivered by the Lahore High Court after months of trials.
Accusations and Verdict:
Imran Khan Accused of Misusing Power for Personal Gain
Imran Khan, a former cricketer who transitioned into politics, was accused of abusing his position as Prime Minister from 2018 to 2022 to engage in the purchase and sale of state-owned gifts. These gifts, acquired during official visits abroad, held a collective value exceeding 140 million Pakistani rupees (equivalent to $635,000). The allegations against Khan led to a case known as the “Toshakhana case.”
Legal Proceedings and Absence:
Verdict Delivered in Absentia
During the court proceedings, Imran Khan was notably absent from the courtroom. However, his lawyer confirmed the authenticity of the news to Reuters. Despite Khan’s attempt to challenge the case’s admissibility, Judge Humayun Dilawar rejected the petition and ultimately sentenced the former Prime Minister to three-year imprisonment.
Arrest Warrant and Public Reaction:
Chaos Surrounding Imran Khan’s Arrest
Earlier in the year, an arrest warrant had been issued for Imran Khan, leading to a wave of chaos across the country. Particularly, an incident at Zaman Park drew attention as police forces used their authority to apprehend Khan. The situation underscored the significance of the legal proceedings.
Charges and Judgment:
Misdeclaration of Assets Proven
The Additional and Sessions Judge, Humayun Dilawar, emphasized that charges of misdeclaration of assets had been substantiated against Imran Khan, the chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) political party. The judge’s judgment reflected the findings of the court’s assessment.
Sentencing and Appeal:
Three-Year Prison Term and Appeal Process
In response to the verdict, Judge Dilawar sentenced Imran Khan to three years in jail and a fine of Rs100,000. An arrest warrant was promptly issued for Khan’s immediate detention. Meanwhile, Khan’s political party, PTI, appealed to the country’s Supreme Court. Criticism arose regarding the absence of ample opportunity for presenting witnesses and argumentation during the legal proceedings, as noted by a member of Khan’s legal team.
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