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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

IHC suspends Imran’s sentence in Toshakhana case

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The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday suspended former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan’s conviction and three-year sentence in the Toshakhana case.

The much-anticipated order was announced by a division bench comprising Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahan­giri on the former prime minister’s appeal against his prison term, according to Dawn.

On August 5, a trial court in Islamabad had convicted the PTI chief in the case filed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) that involved concealing details of state gifts and jailed him for three years.

The verdict meant he was disqualified from contesting general elections for five years.

Imran had subsequently filed an appeal in the high court against his conviction.

He had also approached the Supreme Court (SC) against the IHC’s decision to remand the case back to the trial court judge who had convicted him.

Last week, however, the SC had acknowledged “procedural defects” in Imran’s conviction but had opted to wait for the IHC decision on Imran’s plea.

The court’s observations had drawn the ire of the Pakistan Bar Council, which said there should be no “interference” in matters pending before the subordinate judiciary.

A day ago, ECP’s counsel Advocate Amjad Pervaiz concluded his arguments and urged the court to issue a notice to the state to make it a respondent in the case.

For his part, Imran’s lawyer Latif Khosa had said he had no objections to Pervaiz’s plea but had also expressed that the action was not required by the law.

In a post on X last night, former interior minister Rana Sanaullah said, Imran Khan will not come outside release is not possible, he will have to face the prosecution in other cases!”

Ahead of today’s proceedings, PTI lawyers Babar Awan and Salman Safdar reached the IHC.

Speaking to local media outside court, Awan said their fight was not just for a single case or one judgment.

“You all are in a bigger prison and we want to free all of you,” he said.

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