Imran Khan’s graft conviction suspended by Pakistan court, lawyer says

Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan, gestures as he speaks to the members of the media at his residence in Lahore, Pakistan May 18, 2023. REUTERS/Mohsin Raza//File Photo/ Acquire Licensing Rights

ISLAMABAD, Aug 29 (Reuters) – A Pakistani courtroom on Tuesday suspended former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s latest conviction on corruption expenses, his lawyer Naeem Panjutha mentioned, however it won’t result in his launch as a choose has ordered his detention in one other case.

The 70-year-old former cricket hero has been on the centre of political turmoil within the crisis-ridden nuclear-armed state since his ouster in a parliamentary vote of confidence in April 2022, and his relations with Pakistan’s highly effective generals have deteriorated badly over the previous yr.

Khan was imprisoned on Aug.5 after being sentenced to a few years jail for unlawfully promoting state items throughout his tenure as prime minister from 2018 to 2022. As a results of the conviction, and with a nationwide election anticipated in coming months, Pakistan’s Election Commission additionally barred Khan from contesting elections for 5 years.

“The sentence has been suspended,” Panjutha mentioned on messaging platform X, previously often called Twitter, including, “God be praised.”

Khan’s authorized group lodged the attraction in opposition to his conviction on the grounds that he was convicted with out being given the suitable to defend himself.

The courtroom additionally ordered Khan’s launch on bail, one other one in all his attorneys, Shoaib Shaheen, informed reporters outdoors the courtroom. But he won’t be freed as he has been detained in not less than one different case on expenses of leaking state secrets and techniques.

A particular courtroom in Islamabad has ordered the jail authorities to maintain Khan in judicial custody and current him earlier than the courtroom on Wednesday, in response to an undated order seen by Reuters.

A Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) official, who requested anonymity, mentioned Khan is charged with making public the contents of a confidential cable despatched by Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States and utilizing it for political acquire.

Khan’s prime aide, former international minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, has already been arrested in the identical case.

Khan alleges that the cable proves that his removing was on the behest of the United States, which he mentioned pressed Pakistan’s navy to topple his authorities as a result of he had visited Russia shortly earlier than its assault on Ukraine.

Both the United States and the Pakistani navy have denied that.

Khan faces dozens of instances, together with expenses of abetment to homicide and orchestrating violent protests.

It is unclear how the ban on his contesting elections might be affected with the suspension of his sentence. National elections are due later this yr, however they’re prone to be delayed a number of months.

The suspension marks one other win for Khan and comes a day after the Balochistan High Court dismissed sedition expenses in opposition to him, saying they’d been improperly filed.

Reporting by Asif Shahzad; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Shahzad is an completed media skilled, with over 20 years of expertise. He primarily experiences out of Pakistan, Afghanistan areas, with an incredible curiosity and an in depth information of Asia. He additionally experiences on politics, economic system, finance, enterprise, commodities, Islamist militancy, human rights

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