Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi Receive 14-Year Prison Sentences in Toshakhana Reference Case

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In a recent development, the former Pakistan captain and Prime Minister, Imran Khan, alongside his wife Bushra Bibi, has been handed a 14-year prison sentence in connection with the Toshakhana reference case.

The case revolves around the alleged unauthorized sale of gifts received during Imran Khan’s tenure as Prime Minister, with accusations of failure to declare the proceeds for tax purposes. Imran Khan has been slapped with a fine of PKR 787 million (approximately US $2.9 million). Moreover, his political ban, initially set at five years, has been extended to ten years.

This verdict follows Imran Khan’s previous ten-year jail term in a separate case, where he was accused of leaking state secrets. Notably, the current 14-year sentence is set to run concurrently with the ten-year term, adhering to Pakistani legal norms.

The political party founded and led by Imran Khan, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), has denounced the trial proceedings as a clear violation of the law, branding it a “sham trial.”

Imran Khan’s legal challenges have escalated since his removal as Prime Minister following a no-confidence vote in April 2022. With over a hundred cases filed against him, this marks the first time his wife, Bushra Bibi, has been sentenced to prison.

Despite facing legal and political setbacks, Imran Khan continues to enjoy popularity in Pakistan, as reflected in recent independent polls. However, neither he nor his party will be eligible to participate in the upcoming elections.

The International Human Rights Federation has strongly condemned Imran Khan’s sentencing, citing violations of fundamental principles of justice and due process. They particularly emphasize the denial of access to chosen counsel as a severe breach of international law.

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