Relief for Imran Khan as Pakistan high court suspends former PM’s conviction, sentence in Toshakhana case
Khan was convicted by a trial court in Islamabad in a case filed by the country’s election commission that involved alleged hiding of state gift details.
Former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan (Photo by ARIF ALI/AFP via Getty Images)
IN a major development in Pakistani politics months ahead of the national elections, the Islamabad High Court on Tuesday (29) suspended former prime minister Imran Khan’s three-year sentence in the Toshakhana corruption case.
The much-anticipated order on the sentencing of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) supremo was announced by a division bench comprising chief justice (CJ) Aamer Farooq and justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri on Khan’s appeal against his prison term.
“The copy of the judgment will be available shortly … all we are saying now is that [Imran’s] request has been approved,” Justice Farooq said, according to Pakistan daily Dawn.
Naeem Haider Panjotha, Khan’s aide on legal affairs, posted on X, formerly Twitter, “The CJ has accepted our request, suspended the sentence and said a detailed decision would be provided later.”
Khan, who served as the prime minister between 2018 and 2022 before getting ousted in a no-confidence motion, was convicted by a trial court in Islamabad on August 5 in a case filed by the country’s election commission that involved alleged hiding of state gift details. He was sentenced for three years and the ruling also meant that he was disqualified from contesting the general polls for five years.
Khan, a cricketer-turned-politician, filed an appeal in the high court against his conviction. He had also approached the country’s top court against the high court’s decision to remand the case back to the trial court judge who had convicted him, the daily report added.
Last week, the Pakistani supreme court acknowledged “procedural defects” in the conviction of the former PM but waited for the high court’s decision on the latter’s plea. The court’s observation irked the Pakistan Bar Council which felt there should not be any “interference” in matters that are pending before the subordinate judiciary.
PTI said on X, “Chairman Imran Khan had to spend 24 days in jail illegally due to the kangaroo trial by Judge Dilawar. Alhamdulillah, our Kaptaan stood for his country!”