Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi Sentenced to 14 Years in Toshakhana Corruption Case

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In a significant development, former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and his wife, Bushra Bibi, have been handed a 14-year prison sentence by an anti-graft court in Islamabad. The verdict, issued on Wednesday, stems from a case related to the illegal retention of state gifts during Khan’s tenure as Prime Minister. The court also declared that the duo would be disqualified from holding public office for the next decade and imposed a hefty fine of ₹787 million each.

This judgment follows a previous ruling on Tuesday, where Khan and his party’s deputy, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, received 10-year prison sentences for the disclosure of official secrets.

The Toshakhana corruption case revolves around the alleged violation of rules governing state gifts. The Toshakhana, a department under the Cabinet Division, is responsible for storing gifts and expensive items received by public officials. According to Toshakhana rules, officials are permitted to retain gifts by paying a specified amount, provided the gifts are first deposited.

The controversy surfaced when the coalition government formed under Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) filed a case against Khan in August 2022. The PML-N accused Khan of not disclosing information about gifts received and engaging in the “illegal” sale of certain items.

Initially resistant to disclosing gifts during his tenure, Khan, in 2018, admitted to selling four presents, including expensive cufflinks, Rolex watches, a ring, and a valuable pen. Despite his claim of purchasing them by paying a percentage to the government, the case persisted.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) later determined that Khan’s sale of items was not illegal, as he had indeed paid for them. However, the ECP barred him from holding public office for four years, citing unethical behavior and false assertions.

Khan’s media team expressed dissatisfaction with the judicial process, stating, “Another sad day in our judicial system history, which is being dismantled. No cross-questioning allowed, no final argument concluded, and the decision pops up like a pre-determined process in play. This ridiculous decision will also be challenged.”

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