New Delhi: Former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan was arrested by the Lahore police on Saturday, August 5, shortly after he was found guilty of corrupt practices by an Islamabad trial court and sentenced to three years in prison.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which Khan heads, confirmed the arrest via a tweet. He will be moved to Kot Lakhpat Jail.
According to Dawn, Khan was not in court when he was sentenced to three years in prison and imposed a fine of Pakistani Rs 100,000 for concealing details of gifts that he received when he was the head of state. Khan’s lawyers were also not present, according to the report.
The sentence and fine are the maximum penalty provided by Section 174 of Pakistan’s Election Act.
Khan’s lawyer Intazar Hussain told Reuters that he had been arrested and taken from his residence in the eastern city of Lahore. Following his detention, Khan urged his supporters “to remain peaceful, steadfast and strong,” in an address that was pre-recorded as he “expected” to be arrested.
چیئرمین پاکستان تحریک انصاف کا پیغام:
میری گرفتاری متوقّع تھی چنانچہ میں نے یہ پیغام اپنی گرفتاری سے قبل ریکارڈ کروایا۔
یہ لندن پلان پر عملدرآمد کی جانب ایک اور قدم ہے مگر میں چاہتا ہوں کہ میرے کارکنان پرامن، ثابت قدم اور مضبوط رہیں۔
ہم رب العزّت کے سوا کسی کے سامنے نہیں… pic.twitter.com/vmXSmKRtTo
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) August 5, 2023
Additional district and sessions judge (ADSJ) Humayun Dilawar said, “Imran Khan deliberately submitted fake details [of gifts] to the ECP [Election Commission of Pakistan] and is found guilty of corrupt practices.”
The case against Khan, commonly referred to as the Toshakhana case, is based on a criminal complaint filed by ruling party lawmakers to the ECP.
The Toshaskhana is a repository where presents given by foreign officials to government officials are kept. Officials are supposed to report these gifts to the Cabinet Division. But Khan is accused of retaining them in contravention of the rules.
The case has led to Khan’s disqualification by the ECP.
More than 150 cases have been filed against Khan since he was ousted in a no-confidence vote in April 2022.
PTI called for peaceful protests against the verdict and said it would appeal the decision. The party said in a tweet in Urdu that Khan did not resist the police. “Every process from the beginning of the case to the trial and from the trial to the abduction is illegal. This whole process shows how much the mastermind of the London plan is afraid of Imran Khan and every illegal tactic was tried for this ridiculous trial and kidnapping,” the tweet said.
Khan’s legal team said that it is “important to mention there was no chance given to present witnesses, neither was time allotted to round up arguments”.
Note: This is a developing story and details will be added as they become available.