Former Pakistani Prime Minister and legendary cricketer Imran Khan and his wife, Bushra Bibi, have been sentenced to 14 years of imprisonment. This decision came in the Toshakhana case. In addition to the jail term, they have been barred from holding any public office for the next 10 years and were fined PKR 787 million.
The verdict follows a special court’s decision, under the Official Secrets Act, to sentence Imran Khan and former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to 10 years in prison for the breach of state secrets. The Toshakhana case, filed by Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), accused Imran Khan of failing to deposit 19 million pounds, or $24,08,06,950, given by the British government.
A property tycoon allegedly used the funds to partially offset a Rs 460 billion fine imposed by the Supreme Court. The case also involves accusations of misuse of the Toshakhana, where gifts received during their tenure were bought at reduced rates and later sold at higher prices. The gifts, valued over Rs 140 million, included seven wristwatches, six Rolex, and a Master Graff limited edition watch worth Rs 85 million, reportedly sold in Dubai by Khan’s aides.
Trouble mounts for Imran Khan and his family
The Toshakhana case hearing occurred in Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail, where Imran Khan is currently incarcerated. The judge closed the right to cross-examination of witnesses from the prosecution side and instructed Imran Khan and his wife to record their statements under Section 342 of the Pakistani Code of Criminal Procedure. This section allows a judge to question an accused person “on the case after the witnesses for the prosecution have been examined and before he is called on for his defence.”
Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi, who married in 2018 just months before Khan became the Prime Minister of Pakistan, are not the sole accused in the case. Property developer Malik Riaz Hussain, his son Riaz Alia, and Imran Khan’s former aides, including Shehzad Akbar and Zulfiqar Bukhari, as well as Bibi’s friend Farah Gogi and lawyer Zia Mustafa, are also implicated.