Imran Khan, Pakistan’s former prime minister, was reportedly arrested after a trial court on Saturday sentenced him to three years in prison for illegally selling state gifts, also known as the Toshakhana corruption case, and disqualified him from politics for five years.
Legal experts said a conviction in the case could end Khan’s chances of participating in national elections that have to be held before early November.
“Judge Humayun Dilawar announced that involvement in corrupt practices has been proven,” Pakistan TV said. Khan was not in court for the hearing, and the judge ordered his arrest.
The court imposed a fine of Rs100,000 on the Tehreek-e-Insaf chief, Dawn reported. Khan was indicted in the case on May 10 on a criminal complaint filed against him by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for concealing details of Toshakhana gifts.
During the hearing on Saturday, additional district and sessions judge Dilawar ruled that charges against the former prime minister in the case were proven.
“Imran Khan deliberately submitted fake details to the Election Commission of Pakistan and is found guilty of corrupt practices,” Dawn quoted the judge as saying who sent the PTI chief to jail for three years under Section 174 of the Election Act.
Dilawar also directed that a copy of the order should be sent to the Islamabad police chief for the execution of the court orders.
What is Toshakhana corruption case?
Imran Khan, 70, was convicted in the Toshakhana case which was filed last year on the complaint of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) which had earlier disqualified him in the same case.
The verdict came a day after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) set aside a session court’s verdict to uphold the maintainability of the Toshakhana case for criminal proceedings against Khan.
The Toshakhana issue over the sale of state gifts received by the former cricketer-turned-politician became a major issue in national politics after the ECP disqualified Khan on October 21, 2022, for making “false statements and incorrect declaration”.
The Toshakhana is a department under the Cabinet division that stores gifts given to rulers and government officials by heads of other governments and foreign dignitaries.
Khan bought some of the gifts, including a precious watch, and sold the same for profit.