South Asia

Pakistan’s ex-PM Imran Khan, wife sentenced to 14 years in graft case

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Khan have each been sentenced to 14 years in jail in a graft case involving the illegal sale of state gifts, his party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), announced Wednesday. The sentence also includes a 10-year disqualification from holding public office. Bushra Khan, commonly referred to as Bushra Bibi, was arrested shortly after the verdict, according to PTI.

The sentencing by an anti-graft court in Islamabad comes a day after Khan received a 10-year jail term in another case for revealing state secrets and a week before national elections.

“Another sad day in our judicial system history, which is being dismantled,” said Khan’s media team, denying the charges. The team criticized the trial process, stating, “No cross-questioning allowed, no final argument concluded and decision pops up like a pre-determined process in play,” and vowed to challenge the decision.

In August, another court sentenced Khan to three years in prison for selling state gifts worth over 140 million rupees (approximately $501,000) acquired during his 2018-2022 premiership. Wednesday’s verdict, linked to the same matter, followed an investigation by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), which also charged his wife in the case.

Khan’s previous three-year sentence was later suspended, but he remains in custody in connection with other cases. He has maintained that he legally purchased the state gifts, while government officials allege his aides sold the gifts in Dubai.

The earlier conviction resulted in a five-year ban from holding public office, ruling the 71-year-old out of the upcoming Feb. 8 election. Wednesday’s verdict extends his ineligibility to hold office until he is 81.

While Khan has been found guilty in two separate cases, this is the first sentencing for his wife Bushra. The couple married in 2018, months before Khan’s first term as prime minister. This was Khan’s third marriage following two divorces.