Ex-Pak PM Imran Khan, wife Bushra Bibi sentenced to 14 years in jail in Toshakhana corruption case
Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi were sentenced to 14 years in prison on Wednesday
Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi were sentenced to 14 years in prison on Wednesday in a corruption case for retaining expensive state gifts when he was in power, dealing another blow to the jailed former Pakistan premier, a day after he was handed a 10-year jail term for leaking sensitive state secrets.
The verdict, which comes eight days before the February 8 general elections, has increased the legal woes of the 71-year-old cricketer-turned-politician who is already serving a three-year jail term after being convicted of corruption.
Khan's party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) faced numerous troubles before the election starting with the denial of its election symbol, the cricket bat, to the rejection of nomination papers of Khan, former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and several other party leaders.
Accountability Court Judge Mohammad Bashir conducted the hearing at Rawalpindi's Adiala Jail, where the former premier is incarcerated, in the Toshakhana corruption case.
Khan and his wife were also barred from holding any public office for 10 years and slapped with a fine of Rs 787 million each. Bushra Bibi did not appear before the court on Wednesday.
Bushra Bibi, 49, reached the Adiala jail after her conviction in the case and offered her arrest the Judge in the case had also convicted another former premier Nawaz Sharif in July 2018 ahead of elections.
Reacting to the verdict, PTI's current chief Gohar Khan said the judgment only served to lower the respect of the judiciary.
Last month, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed a fresh case against the two in an accountability court for retaining a jewellery set received from the Saudi crown prince against undervalued assessment.
Khan told the court that his wife had nothing to do with the case and was being humiliated by being forcibly dragged into it.
At the outset of the hearing on Wednesday, Judge Bashir asked Khan if he recorded his statement.
To this, the former premier said that he would submit his statement once his lawyers came.
The sentence comes just a day after a special court established under the Official Secrets Act sentenced Khan and Qureshi to 10 years in prison for the breach of state secrets.
The latest conviction and sentencing are Khan's third since 2022 when he was ousted from power.
Previously, Khan was convicted in the Toshakhana case on August 5, and sentenced to three years' imprisonment.
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) later suspended his sentence, however, a division bench had later rejected Khan's petition seeking the suspension of the conviction.
According to reports, Khan and his wife received 108 gifts from various heads of state, out of which they kept 58 gifts. They were also undervalued by them while paying a mandatory price to the state.
Under the rules governing Toshakhana - a Persian word meaning "treasure house" - government officials can keep gifts by paying a price for them but first the gift should be deposited. The two either failed to deposit the gift or got it for a low price by allegedly using their authority.