Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan has been arrested from his residence in Lahore after he was handed a three-year jail sentence in a corruption case.
After convicting Khan, the Islamabad courtroom issued an arrest warrant which says he’s to serve his sentence within the Rawalpindi central jail in Pakistan’s Punjab province, with police in Lahore shortly shifting to take him from his dwelling.
The conviction, which was handed down in absentia, bans Khan from political workplace for the subsequent 5 years.
Pakistan has seen its share of former prime ministers arrested over time and interventions by its highly effective army, with Khan, a former worldwide cricket star, being the seventh former prime minister to be arrested.
No prime minister in Pakistan’s historical past has managed to finish their five-year tenure, as mandated by the nation’s structure.
That is his second arrest this yr after he was detained final Could by Pakistan’s anti-corruption company in reference to one other case. Khan denied wrongdoing and was launched on bail inside days.
However that didn’t cease the huge protests that broke out after Khan’s first arrest, after which hundreds of employees from Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) celebration and their leaders had been detained by authorities.
Lots of them shall be despatched to trial within the army courtroom on expenses of attacking army installations and monuments, a call which has earned the ire of rights teams.
What’s the corruption case about?
Khan is accused by the election fee of misusing his 2018-2022 premiership to unlawfully purchase and promote presents in state possession that had been obtained throughout visits overseas which are price greater than 140 million Pakistani rupees ($500,000).
Often known as the asset concealment case, or Toshakhana, the presents allegedly included watches given by a royal household, in response to authorities officers, who’ve alleged beforehand that Khan’s aides bought them in Dubai.
The presents allegedly embrace seven watches, six of them Rolexes. The most costly was a “Grasp Graff restricted version” valued at 85 million rupees ($300,000), in response to an inventory shared by Pakistan’s data minister.
Toshakhana, or treasure home, is a government-owned division that retains presents obtained by members of parliament, ministers, international secretaries, presidents and prime ministers.
How did Imran Khan reply to the fees?
Khan has maintained that he had legally bought the gadgets, and has denied wrongdoing.
In a pre-recorded message launched after his arrest on Saturday, the previous prime minister urged his followers to stay calm and to hold out peaceable protests.
“My arrest was anticipated & I recorded this message earlier than my arrest … I would like my celebration employees to stay peaceable, steadfast and robust,” he stated in a video assertion posted to social media.
What number of circumstances have been introduced towards Khan?
Since his removing from energy in a no-confidence vote within the parliament in April 2022, Khan has been slapped with greater than 150 authorized circumstances, together with a number of on expenses of corruption, terrorism and inciting folks to violence over lethal protests in Could that noticed his followers assault authorities and army property throughout the nation.
He has appeared in courtroom for quite a few circumstances in each Lahore and Islamabad, and lengthy warned that he can be arrested to stop him from taking part in elections which are as a consequence of be held earlier than the tip of the yr.
What’s the authorities saying?
Info Minister Maryam Aurangzeb denied Khan’s arrest had something to do with the upcoming elections, and stated he had been given each alternative to defend himself towards the asset concealment expenses.
“As a substitute Imran Khan used the time to delay the courtroom proceedings and went forwards and backwards to the Excessive Court docket and Supreme Court docket to halt this case,” she stated.
Aurangzeb added that Khan has been “confirmed responsible of unlawful practices, corruption, concealing property and wrongly declaring wealth in tax returns”.
Choose Humayun Dilawar wrote on this 30-page detailed verdict that Khan’s “dishonesty has been established past doubt”.
“He has been discovered responsible of corrupt practices by hiding the advantages he accrued from nationwide exchequer willfully and deliberately,” Dilawar wrote in his ruling.
What occurs subsequent?
In response to Khan’s arrest warrant, he shall be despatched to the central jail within the metropolis of Rawalpindi in Pakistan’s Punjab province.
Khan’s authorized group stated they’d be submitting a direct attraction.
“It’s necessary to say there was no likelihood given to current witnesses, neither was time allotted to spherical up arguments,” a member of the group stated.
Khan’s PTI celebration stated in a press release that they had already filed one other attraction to the Supreme Court docket earlier on Saturday.