Pakistan ex-PM Imran Khan, wife, handed 14-year sentence in state gifts scandal

| Updated: 31 January, 2024 6:50 pm IST

NEW DELHI : Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and his wife, Bushra Bibi, have been handed a 14-year prison sentence for illegally acquiring expensive gifts from the state treasury, known as Toshakhana.

The judgment follows a recent 10-year prison sentence for Khan over leaking sensitive state secrets, posing further challenges to his electoral aspirations for the upcoming February 8th general elections.

The Accountability Court, led by Judge Mohammad Bashir, conducted the hearing at Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail, where Khan is currently detained. Along with the 14-year prison term, both Khan and Bushra Bibi were prohibited from holding any public office for a decade and fined ₹787 million each.

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Bibi, the wife of former premier and international cricket star, surrendered at the jail on Wednesday after being sentenced to 14 years in prison for the illegal acquisition of gifts from the state treasury. The couple, married in 2018 just months before Khan assumed the role of prime minister, had consistently denied accusations by Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog that they sold or retained state gifts for personal profit.

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Bushra Bibi, known for maintaining a low profile during their time in office, had been out on remand before surrendering at the jail. The charges against the couple included allegations of deliberately hiding details about gifts received from Toshakhana, the repository for presents given to government officials by foreign dignitaries. Notable items included a jewellery set from the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.

Toshakhana Case Details:

  • Imran Khan faced allegations of intentionally concealing information about gifts received from Toshakhana during his tenure as prime minister. Toshakhana is a repository for presents given to government officials by foreign dignitaries.

  • The National Accountability Bureau’s investigation revealed that Khan and his wife purchased gifts from the state treasury at significantly lower prices than their designated values, which included seven watches, including six Rolexes. The most expensive, a “Master Graff limited edition,” is estimated at $300,000.

  • The Toshakhana, operating under the Cabinet Division, stores gifts presented to rulers and government officials by foreign leaders. Regulations require the reporting of such gifts and items to the Cabinet Division.

  • This marks Khan’s second conviction in the corruption case, following a previous ruling last year that sentenced him to three years in jail and imposed a five-year ban on holding any public office.

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