In the Toshakhana case, former Prime Minister Imran Khan and his wife, Bushra Bibi, were sentenced on Wednesday to 14 years in prison with harsh penalty. The decision was made public today by Judge Muhammad Bashir of the accountability court.
In addition, the accountability court fined Imran Rs1.573 billion and barred him from politics for ten years. Only eight days remain till the general elections after the verdict. Also, the decision was rendered just one day after the founder of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and his close associate, former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, were given ten years in prison in connection with the cipher case by a special court.
The verdict was announced at Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi by Judge Abul Hasnat Zulqarnain of the special court. It is important to note that a different court sentenced the former prime minister to three years in prison in August for selling gifts that he acquired during his tenure as prime minister from 2018 to 2022 totaling more than 140 million rupees ($501,000) while they were in state custody.
Imran’s sentence was subsequently suspended; nevertheless, he is still incarcerated due to further cases. Precious presents given to monarchs, lawmakers, bureaucrats, and officials by heads of other countries and states as well as international dignitaries are stored in the Toshakhana, a department under the administrative jurisdiction of the Cabinet Division and founded in 1974.
As the previous prime minister, Imran was given 108 gifted state assets; of them, 58 were retained by him, according to a reference the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed against Imran and his spouse.
NAB alleged that he broke the law by refusing to give the gifted state assets worth millions of rupees to Toshakhana for a fair price evaluation. He then kept the things. According to the NAB, Imran sold or stole part of the gifted state assets for his gain, while the remainder was kept without a proper price assessment.
According to the NAB, subsequent inquiry procedures showed that Bushra, the ex-PM’s wife, accepted millions of rupees in presents from foreign dignitaries and kept them for a pitiful retention fee based on undervaluation/appraisal.