Pakistani court suspends former PM Khan’s graft conviction and jail sentence

A Pakistani court on Tuesday suspended the corruption conviction and three-year prison sentence of former prime minister Imran Khan, his lawyer said.

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The Islamabad High Court also granted bail for Khan, but it’s not immediately clear if he will be released since he also faces several other charges. 

Khan’s lawyer Shoaib Shaheen said the court issued a brief verbal order and a written ruling will be issued later.

The ruling comes weeks after Khan was convicted and sentenced to three years in prison by another court that found him guilty of concealing assets after selling state gifts he received while in office.

Khan was imprisoned on August 5 after being sentenced to three years in jail for unlawfully selling state gifts during his tenure as prime minister from 2018 to 2022.

As a result of the conviction, Pakistan’s Election Commission also barred Khan from contesting elections for five years.

The cricketer-turned-politician was ousted from power through a no-confidence vote in parliament last year.

The ruling came a day after a court in the western province of Balochistan quashed a sedition case against Khan.

The case was registered in the southwestern city of Quetta in March, the capital of the province, based on an allegation that one of Khan’s speeches was seditious.

Balochistan High Court said on Monday that prosecutors had failed to obtain the required consent from the federal or provincial government to lodge sedition charges.

The charges are “without lawful authority and are of no legal effect”, the court ruled, throwing out the case.

Khan lost power after falling out with Pakistan’s influential military, and his attempts to rally popular support have stirred political turmoil in a country already struggling with one of its worst economic crises.

A general election was expected in November, though it is likely to be delayed until at least early next year.

Aside from the graft and sedition cases, Khan is also facing charges ranging from terrorism and encouraging assaults on state institutions – after his supporters attacked military and government installations in May – as well as abetment to murder following the slaying of a Supreme Court lawyer in June.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)

Source: Thanks france24