A Pakistani court ruled that the former prime minister's marriage in 2018 violated Islamic law
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi were sentenced to seven years in prison and fined after a court declared their marriage illegal on Saturday. This is the third ruling against Khan this week.
The civil court was set up in Rawalpindi prison, where the former prime minister has been detained since August last year on more than 100 charges. These rulings came ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled for February 8, in which Khan, who remains very popular among voters, will be barred from running.
On Wednesday, Khan and his wife were sentenced to 14 years in prison for illegally selling state gifts, and the day before Khan was sentenced to ten years in prison for leaking state secrets. He claimed that the cable he published contained evidence of collusion between the Pakistani army and American officials to remove him from power in April 2022.
Khan's representatives say he will appeal all three cases. The sentences total up to 34 years and will be served concurrently.
The marriage case was filed by Bushra Bibi's ex-husband, Khawar Maneka, who claimed that she did not commit to the marriage “several” – The mandatory three-month waiting period, which a woman must adhere to under Islamic law after the death or divorce of her husband, before marrying another man. The Khans denied any wrongdoing.
But Imran Khan said that the case has been taken to court “Humiliated and disgraced” He and his wife.
“This is the first time in history that a case related to equipment has been filed.” he told reporters.
Members of Khan's party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), condemned the court's decision.
Syed Zulfikar Bukhari, a PTI official, called out the issue of marriage “forged”Saying that the sentences issued against Khan represent a “Mocking the law.”
“The way these trials are being conducted leaves a big question mark on the February 8 elections. This is a test case for the supreme judiciary in Pakistan.” He told Al Jazeera. PTI Chairman Gohar Ali Khan described the trial as… “shameful” He vowed to appeal the ruling to a higher court.
Rima Omar, Pakistani legal advisor to the International Commission of Jurists, wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that the ruling was… “A disgrace to our justice system.”
Khan, a cricketer-turned-politician, was ousted in a no-confidence vote in 2022, with the opposition accusing him of mismanaging the economy and foreign policy. Khan denied all the charges against him, describing them as politically motivated.
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