Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan has been arrested from his residence in Lahore after he was handed a three-year jail sentence in a corruption case.
After convicting Khan, the Islamabad courtroom issued an arrest warrant which says he’s to serve his sentence within the Rawalpindi central jail in Pakistan’s Punjab province, with police in Lahore shortly transferring to take him from his dwelling.
The conviction, which was handed down in absentia, bans Khan from political workplace for the following 5 years.
Pakistan has seen its share of former prime ministers arrested over time and interventions by its highly effective navy, with Khan, a former worldwide cricket star, being the seventh former prime minister to be arrested.
No prime minister in Pakistan’s historical past has managed to finish their five-year tenure, as mandated by the nation’s structure.
That is his second arrest this yr after he was detained last May by Pakistan’s anti-corruption company in reference to one other case. Khan denied wrongdoing and was launched on bail inside days.
However that didn’t cease the huge protests that broke out after Khan’s first arrest, after which hundreds of employees from Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) occasion and their leaders had been detained by authorities.
Lots of them will probably be despatched to trial within the navy courtroom on prices of attacking navy installations and monuments, a choice which has earned the ire of rights teams.
What’s the corruption case about?
Khan is accused by the election fee of misusing his 2018-2022 premiership to unlawfully purchase and promote presents in state possession that had been obtained throughout visits overseas which might be price greater than 140 million Pakistani rupees ($500,000).
Referred to as the asset concealment case, or Toshakhana, the presents allegedly included watches given by a royal household, in line with authorities officers, who’ve alleged beforehand that Khan’s aides offered them in Dubai.
The presents allegedly embrace seven watches, six of them Rolexes. The most costly was a “Grasp Graff restricted version” valued at 85 million rupees ($300,000), in line with a listing shared by Pakistan’s info minister.
Toshakhana, or treasure home, is a government-owned division that retains presents obtained by members of parliament, ministers, international secretaries, presidents and prime ministers.
How did Imran Khan reply to the fees?
Khan has maintained that he had legally bought the gadgets, and has denied wrongdoing.
In a pre-recorded message launched after his arrest on Saturday, the previous prime minister urged his followers to stay calm and to hold out peaceable protests.
“My arrest was anticipated & I recorded this message earlier than my arrest … I would like my occasion employees to stay peaceable, steadfast and powerful,” he stated in a video assertion posted to social media.
What number of instances have been introduced in opposition to Khan?
Since his removing from energy in a no-confidence vote within the parliament in April 2022, Khan has been slapped with greater than 150 authorized instances, together with a number of on prices of corruption, terrorism and inciting individuals to violence over lethal protests in Might that noticed his followers assault authorities and navy property throughout the nation.
He has appeared in courtroom for quite a few instances in each Lahore and Islamabad, and lengthy warned that he could be arrested to forestall him from collaborating in elections which might be because of be held earlier than the tip of the yr.
Info Minister Maryam Aurangzeb denied Khan’s arrest had something to do with the upcoming elections, and stated he had been given each alternative to defend himself in opposition to the asset concealment prices.
“As an alternative Imran Khan used the time to delay the courtroom proceedings and went forwards and backwards to the Excessive Courtroom and Supreme Courtroom to halt this case,” she stated.
Aurangzeb added that Khan has been “confirmed responsible of unlawful practices, corruption, concealing property and wrongly declaring wealth in tax returns”.
Decide Humayun Dilawar wrote on this 30-page detailed verdict that Khan’s “dishonesty has been established past doubt”.
“He has been discovered responsible of corrupt practices by hiding the advantages he accrued from nationwide exchequer willfully and deliberately,” Dilawar wrote in his ruling.
What occurs subsequent?
Based on Khan’s arrest warrant, he will probably be despatched to the central jail within the metropolis of Rawalpindi in Pakistan’s Punjab province.
Khan’s authorized workforce stated they might be submitting an instantaneous enchantment.
“It’s vital to say there was no probability given to current witnesses, neither was time allotted to spherical up arguments,” a member of the workforce stated.
Khan’s PTI occasion stated in a press release that they had already filed one other enchantment to the Supreme Courtroom earlier on Saturday.
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