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Pakistan

Toshakhana reference: Imran, wife sentenced to 14 years

  • Accountability court Judge Muhammad Bashir disqualifies Imran for 10 years
Published January 31, 2024

In yet another development, former prime minister Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi were sentenced on Wednesday to 14 years in jail with rigorous punishment in the Toshakhana case.

Accountability court Judge Muhammad Bashir announced the verdict at Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail. The former PM was presented during the hearing, however, his wife did not appear.

The accountability court also disqualified Imran for 10 years while handing a fine of Rs787 million each.

Following the verdict, Bushra arrived at Adiala Jail to surrender to the authorities. She was taken into custody by NAB.

The verdict comes just eight days before the general elections.

Moreover, the verdict comes a day after a special court handed the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder and his close aide, ex-foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, 10 years in jail in the cipher case.

Special court Judge Abul Hasnat Zulqarnain announced the verdict at Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi.

It is pertinent to mention that the former PM was handed a three-year prison sentence in August by another court for selling gifts worth more than 140 million rupees ($501,000) in state possession and received during his 2018-2022 premiership.

His sentence was later suspended but Imran remains behind bars in connection with other cases.

Established in 1974, the Tosha­khana is a department under the administrative control of the Cabinet Division and stores precious gifts given to rulers, parliamentarians, bureaucrats, and officials by heads of other governments and states and foreign dignitaries.

PTI reacts

Following the verdict, PTI said Imran and his spouse had faced “yet another kangaroo trial in which no right to defence was given to both”.

“Complete destruction of every existing law in Pakistan in 2 days,” the party reacted on X.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz said that “fake Sadiq and Ameen” was “proved to be a certified Toshakhana thief in front of the world today”.

Background

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed a reference against Imran and his wife, saying that as former prime minister, Imran was presented with 108 gifted state assets, out of the same, 58 gifted state assets were retained by him.

He did not deposit the gifted state assets in Toshakhana for fair price assessment in contravention of rules and subsequently retained said gifted state items worth millions of rupees, NAB said.

The gifted state assets were retained without fair price assessment, NAB said, adding that, Imran sold/misappropriated some of the gifted state assets for personal benefit.

The NAB said that investigation proceedings further revealed that Bushra being the wife of ex-PM, received gifts from foreign dignitaries amounting to millions of rupees and retained these gifts against a meager retention cost based on under value assessment/appraisement.

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