Pakistan court rejects Imran Khan’s request to suspend sentence
Islamabad: Pakistan’s jailed former prime minister Imran Khan’s bid to get his conviction suspended in a corruption case did not succeed on Wednesday as the Islamabad High Court adjourned the hearing but assured him that his case would be decided in four to five days.
Khan, 70, was sentenced to three years in prison by an Islamabad trial court on Saturday in the Toshakhana corruption case in which he is accused of profiting from selling expensive state gifts when he was in power. He was subsequently arrested by Punjab police from his residence in Lahore.
Khan, who is currently lodged in the Attock Jail, appealed his conviction and the three-year prison sentence in the case by filing a plea through his lawyers at the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday.
During the proceedings presided over by Chief Justice Aamer Farooq, Khan’s lawyer Khawaja Haris argued that the trial court announced its verdict without allowing him to plead the case and asked the court to suspend the sentence and take up the appeal against conviction for hearing from tomorrow.
“The decision of the trial court in the Toshakhana case is against the law,” he stated in the plea seeking for the verdict to be annulled.
Chief Justice Farooq after hearing arguments refused to grant relief in the form of a suspension and declared that the petition would be fixed for a regular hearing within the next four to five days. He also issued notices to concerned parties.
The jailed chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party is fighting a legal battle through his lawyers.
Hearing a different petition about shifting Khan to Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, the IHC asked the authorities to apprise it who ordered to keep Khan at Attock jail instead of Adiala as directed by the sessions court.
Farooq asked the federal and Punjab governments to file replies by August 11 on the PTI chief’s plea requesting a transfer from Attock district prison to Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail.
During the hearing, Chief Justice Farooq said that the court would issue an order regarding the meetings with the former prime minister by his legal team and others. Later the court adjourned the hearing till August 11.
Khan is accused of misusing his 2018 to 2022 premiership to buy and sell gifts in state possession that were received during visits abroad and worth more than Rs 140 million (USD 635,000).
Khan faces more than 140 cases across the country and charges like terrorism, violence, blasphemy, corruption and murder.
On Tuesday, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) disqualified Khan for five years following his conviction in the Toshakahana case.
“Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi is disqualified for a period of five years and is also de-notified as a returned candidate from constituency NA-45 Kurram-I,” said a notification issued by the top electoral body.