Pakistan court suspends Imran Khan’s prison sentence in state gifts case

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Islamabad, Pakistan (AL Jazeera) – A court in Pakistan has suspended former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s jail sentence in a case related to illegal selling of state gifts.

Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi were each handed a 14-year sentence in the case on January 31 – just a week ahead of the February 8 elections, which Khan’s party alleges were rigged.

The Islamabad High Court on Monday said the couple’s sentence will remain suspended until a decision is taken on the case after the Eid holidays, which begin in 10 days.

Khan, 71, is accused of not disclosing assets based on the sale of state gifts worth more than 140 million rupees ($504,000) he received when he was the prime minister from 2018 to April 2022.

The case was brought by Pakistan’s anticorruption agency, which accused Khan and his wife of unlawfully buying and selling the gifts.

The sentencing had made the couple ineligible to contest for public office for 10 years while also slapping a fine of 787 million rupees ($2.8m) on each of them.

Khan, founder of the main opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, has been in prison since August last year on several charges.

The conviction in the state gifts case came a day after the cricket star-turned-politician was handed a 10-year prison term for revealing state secrets.

Khan and his wife were also convicted for seven years when a court on February 3 ruled that their 2018 marriage violated Islamic law.

PTI politician Sayed Zulfikar Bukhari, a close aide of Khan, told Al Jazeera he was confident of a favourable outcome given the way the state gifts case was progressing in the court.

“I have said this since the conviction that the cases against Khan and his wife do not have the legs to stand on and it was only a matter of time before they would get thrown out,” he told Al Jazeera.

“We welcome this decision and hopefully this will be the outcome in all other cases against Khan and his wife as they are all frivolous in nature.”

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Disclaimer: Pakistan court suspends Imran Khan’s prison sentence in state gifts case - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect point-of-view

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