ISLAMABAD, AUG 05 – A Pakistan district and sessions court on Saturday sentenced former Prime Minister Imran Khan for three years in prison in the Toshakhana case i.e. for illegally selling state gifts and he has been disqualified him from politics for a period of five years, local media reported.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs 100,000 on the PTI chief, Geo News reported.
Khan was arrested from his Zaman Park residence in Lahore soon after being convicted in the Toshakhana case today, Geo News reported.
Dawn reported that during the hearing today, presided by Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ) Humayun Dilawar, the trial court ruled that charges against the former prime minister in the case were proven.
“Imran Khan deliberately submitted fake details [of Toshakhana gifts] to the ECP and is found guilty of corrupt practices,” he stated and sent the PTI chief to jail for three years under Section 174 of the Election Act.
Ahead of today’s proceedings, a large contingent of police was deployed outside the court premises with only lawyers allowed inside the courtroom.
The development comes after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday set aside the session court’s verdict on the Toshakhana reference against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman as maintainable and ordered the lower court to rehear the case.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on August 2 deferred the indictment of former Pakistan PM in the Toshakhana case, Pakistan-based Dawn reported.
Earlier on July 3, Imran Khan had lashed out at the Shehbaz Sharif government, alleging that the administration has “made a plan” to put him in jail and the whole episode that transpired over his arrest was “pre-planned”.
Giving clarification over the allegations in the Toshakhana case, Khan claimed that the gifts were sold “as per the rules” and everything has been declared in FDR.
“As per the law, when PM, President, Army Chief receives gifts, it goes to Toshakhana, where it is valued. It is done through an FDR, with an initial value and then an appraisal. If there are any excess value, they give the option of purchasing. This is the rule. Under this I took many gifts and refused others. Whatever I sold, is declared in FBR and is under capital gains tax. What is wrong here? Also, under this case, NAB, Election Commission and FIR is also filed. It is just not possible that three cases are being run on the same issue,” he had then said.
The case pertains to the allegations that the former PM “deliberately concealed” details of the gifts he retained from the Toshaskhana — a repository where presents handed to government officials from foreign officials are kept — during his time as the prime minister and proceeds from their reported sales.
The Toshakhana case registered by ruling party lawmakers is based on a criminal complaint filed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), as per the Dawn report.
As per the Toshakhana rules, gifts and other such materials received by persons to whom these rules are applicable shall be reported to the Cabinet Division. Notably, PTI Chairman Imran Khan has faced a number of legal cases over his retention of gifts. He has also been disqualified by the electoral body over the issue.
On May 9, this year, former PM and PTI Chairman Imran Khan was arrested from inside the High Court in Islamabad by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on the charges of corruption in connection with the Al-Qadir Trust, which he owns alongside his wife, Bushra Bibi.
Following Khan’s arrest, his party called for demonstrations, which turned violent at many places. The administration resorted to crackdown and many arrests were made across the country. The people accused in the May 9 violence are being tried at military courts.
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