Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan jailed for three years on corruption charges

Pakistan’s ex-prime minister Imran Khan has been jailed for three years over corruption allegations, charges which he denies.

An Islamabad court found him guilty of illegally selling state gifts, local media reported said on Saturday.

‘Judge Humayun Dilawar announced that involvement in corrupt practices has been proven,’ Pakistan TV said.

The 70-year-old cricketer-turned-politician was not present at the hearing and was arrested at his home in the eastern city of Lahore shortly after the sentencing, Reuters reports.

Mr Khan was first elected in 2018, but was ousted in a no-confidence vote last year.

Over 150 corruption charges have since been levelled against him, which he claims are politically motivated and strenuously denies.

Khan has been accused of misusing his position to buy and sell gifts received during visits abroad worth more than 140 million Pakistani rupees (£530,000).

Protocol requires prime ministers to store such objects in the state’s safe house, while Khan is accused of having sold them at a profit.

His party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) said in a statement an appeal has already been filed to the country’s supreme court.

‘It’s important to mention there was no chance given to present witnesses, neither was time allotted to round up arguments,’ a member of Khan’s legal team told reporters.

Legal experts say a conviction in the case could end his chances of taking part in the national elections that have to be held before November.

Khan was first arrested in May after failing to appear in court, which sparked intense political turmoil and deadly clashes between Khan supporters and the police.

Since then, his party has been under intense pressure from the authorities.

Many senior officials have left and thousands of supporters have been arrested, accused of being involved in the protests that followed Mr Khan’s arrest.

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