ISLAMABAD: In a major development, a district and sessions court on Saturday convicted Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan in the Toshakhana case, sentencing him to three years in prison, and fined PKR 1 Lakh.
He has also been disqualified for five years which means he may not be able contest in the upcoming polls.
Khan is being taken to the Kot Lakhpat Prison.
Imran Khan is accused of misusing his position as prime minister between 2018 to 2022 to buy and sell gifts he received from guests who visited Pakistan and from hosts when he went on official foreign trips worth more than $635,000, which were in state possession.
Khan will be taken to custody immediately, people familiar with the developments told CNN-News18. They also said that Imran Khan retains the right of appeal to higher courts and the immediate custody is because of his prison sentence. They said that the former Pakistan prime minister will challenge the verdict and appeal to higher courts.
The news has been greeted with joy in the Nawaz Sharif camp. People close to him told CNN-News18 that the sentencing of his successor is the “result of Imran Khan’s corruption”. The Nawaz camp in London has applauded the court for delivering “full justice” and highlighted that it was not a “one-sided decided case”.
“Charges of misdeclaration of assets have been proven against the PTI chairman,” the Islamabad district and sessions court judge Humayun Dilawar mentioned in his judgement.
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday directed the former prime minister to reappear in the court of Additional Sessions Judge Humayun Dilawar. Imran and his legal team told the IHC that they felt judge Humayun Dilawar was rushing the case and was too biased and sought a transfer of the case to another court.
The IHC asked the judge to to re-examine the jurisdiction and any lapse in procedure in the filing of the complaint by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and granted some relief to Imran but did not transfer the case.
Imran Khan, if disqualified, will bring memories of his predecessor Nawaz Sharif who himself remains disqualified from office after he was disqualified by the Pakistan Supreme Court and barred from holding any public office in 2017.
He was again barred from holding public office for life 2018 after a probe ordered by the Supreme Court on Panama Papers found him guilty of not disclosing money from his son Hussain Nawaz’s Dubai-based firm.