Court frames charges against former Pakistan PM Imran Khan, wife Bushra Bibi in corruption case

A Pakistani court on Tuesday convicted jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan and his third wife Bushra Bibi on charges that they allegedly obtained land as bribes by abusing their office during his tenure as prime minister. His party said.

The latest charges follow a series of convictions against Khan in the months before the February 8 national election, where his supporters won the most seats overall.

Khan, 71, has been in jail since August in connection with other cases and has previously denied the charges.

He had already been convicted on four counts, which carry a prison sentence of up to 14 years – including two corruption charges, which also disqualified him from participating in politics for 10 years.

Due to security reasons, his hearing is being held in the jail premises.

Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party said the couple pleaded innocent to the charges in the indictment.

PTI-backed candidates defied all odds to win the largest number of seats in Parliament in elections earlier this month that it described as a military-backed crackdown. After his party was barred from the elections, his supporters contested the elections as independents rather than as a group.

But his opposition parties, led by Sharif and the Bhutto dynasty, formed an alliance to form a minority coalition government.

The latest indictment relates to the Al-Qadir Trust, a non-governmental welfare organization founded by Khan and his third wife Bushra Bibi in 2018, when he was in office.

Prosecutors say the trust provided Khan with bribes from Malik, a real estate developer, and a valuable 60 acres (24 hectares) of land in a district outside Islamabad and a plot of land close to Khan’s hilltop mansion in the capital. There was a way to get a bigger piece. Riyaz Hussain, who is one of the richest and most powerful businessmen of Pakistan.

Hussain, who did not appear before the anti-corruption agency to answer summons issued to him late last year, has denied any wrongdoing.

PTI condemned the indictment.

“The trials conducted behind prison walls are only intended to pave the way for miscarriage of justice,” it said in a statement. It was termed as a politically motivated case to keep Khan behind bars.

The PTI party has rejected the election results, alleging massive fraud.

published by:

Aditi Sharma

Published on:

February 27, 2024

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