PTI Chairman Imran Khan, shortly after an Islamabad trial court declared him guilty of “corrupt practices” in the Toshakhana case, was arrested by Punjab police on Saturday afternoon from his Zaman Park residence in Lahore.
PTI’s Punjab Chapter confirmed the reports with a tweet: “Imran Khan is being moved to Kot Lakhpat Jail.”
عمران خان کو کوٹ لکھپٹ جیل منتقل کیا جا رہا ہے— PTI Punjab (@PTIPunjabPK) August 5, 2023
The court sentenced Imran — who was absent from court — to three years in prison and imposed a fine of Rs100,000 on him for concealing details of Toshakhana gifts. His lawyers were also not present.
Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ) Humayun Dilawar ruled that charges against the former prime minister in the case were proven.
“Imran Khan deliberately submitted fake details [of Toshakhana gifts] to the ECP and is found guilty of corrupt practices,” he stated and sent the PTI chief to jail for three years under Section 174 of the Election Act.
ADSJ Dilawar also directed that a copy of the order should be sent to the Islamabad police chief for the execution of the court orders.
During the hearing — which commenced at 8:30 am — the judge repeatedly expressed displeasure over the absence of Imran’s lawyers. He, however, gave multiple chances to the defense counsel to appear in court.
Finally, at 12:30 pm, ASDJ Dilawar announced the verdict.
Ahead of today’s proceedings, a large contingent of police was deployed outside the court premises with only lawyers allowed inside the courtroom.
The case, filed by ruling party lawmakers, is based on a criminal complaint filed by the ECP.
The case alleges that Imran had “deliberately concealed” details of the gifts he retained from the Toshaskhana — a repository where presents handed to government officials from foreign officials are kept — during his time as the prime minister and proceeds from their reported sales.
According to Toshakhana rules, gifts/presents and other such materials received by persons to whom these rules apply shall be reported to the Cabinet Division.
Imran has faced a number of legal issues over his retention of gifts. The issue also led to his disqualification by the ECP.
On Oct 21, 2022, the ECP concluded that the former premier had indeed made “false statements and incorrect declarations” regarding the gifts.
The watchdog’s order had said Imran stood disqualified under Article 63(1)(p) of the Constitution.
Subsequently, the ECP approached the Islamabad sessions court with a copy of the complaint, seeking proceedings against Imran under criminal law for allegedly misleading officials about the gifts he received from foreign dignitaries during his tenure as the prime minister.
On May 10, Imran had been indicted in the case, rejecting his petition to declare the Toshkhana case inadmissible. However, on July 4, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) overturned the said ruling.
On July 8, an Islamabad district and sessions court declared the Toshakhana case against Imran to be maintainable. Subsequently, the former premier challenged the session court’s verdict in the IHC.