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Imran Khan’s Prison Term Suspended By Pakistan Court

A court in Pakistan has halted the jail term for former Prime Minister Imran Khan in a case concerning the unauthorized sale of state gifts.

Khan, along with his wife Bushra Bibi, received a 14-year sentence each on January 31, just ahead of the February 8 elections, which Khan’s party claims were manipulated.

The Islamabad High Court announced on Monday that the couple’s sentence would be on hold until a verdict is reached after the Eid holidays, which commence in 10 days.

The 71-year-old Khan is accused of concealing assets acquired from the sale of state gifts worth over 140 million rupees ($504,000) during his tenure as prime minister from 2018 to April 2022.

The case was initiated by Pakistan’s anti-corruption agency, alleging that Khan and his wife unlawfully traded the gifts.

The sentencing rendered the couple ineligible to run for public office for a decade, along with imposing a fine of 787 million rupees ($2.8 million) each.

Khan, the founder of the leading opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, has been incarcerated since August last year on various charges.

The conviction in the state gifts case came a day after the former cricket star-turned-politician was handed a 10-year prison sentence for disclosing state secrets.

Additionally, Khan and his wife were sentenced to seven years in another case, where a court ruled on February 3 that their 2018 marriage violated Islamic law.

PTI politician Sayed Zulfikar Bukhari, a close aide of Khan, expressed confidence in a favorable resolution, citing the progress of the state gifts case in court.

“I have maintained since the conviction that the cases against Khan and his wife lack substance, and it was only a matter of time before they would be dismissed,” he told Al Jazeera.

“We welcome this decision, and hopefully, similar outcomes will follow in all other cases against Khan and his wife as they are all baseless.”

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