Pak HC suspends Imran Khan’s sentence in Toshakhana case newsbhunt


ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad high court suspended on Tuesday ex-prime minister Imran Khan’s three-year sentence in the Toshakhana (treasure house for state gifts) case but another court established to hear cases under the Official Secrets Act, 1923 has directed the jail authorities to keep the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief behind bars in the missing cipher case.
A special court constituted to hear the cipher case, in which Khan was named along with his party’s jailed vice-chief and former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, wrote a letter to jail authorities in Attock, in Pakistan’s Punjab province, directing them to keep the former PM in the lockup as he has been named in the case regarding a missing US diplomatic cable.
“You are hereby directed to keep him in the judicial lockup and produce him on August 30 (Wednesday) before this court,” a special court judge wrote in a letter to the jail superintendent.
The cipher case relates to the alleged leaking of a diplomatic cable, which allegedly went missing from Imran’s possession. The ex-PM has been questioned several times by Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials in the cipher case.
The much-awaited order in the Toshakhana case was announced by a two-member bench of the Islamabad HC comprising Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri on the former PM’s appeal against his sentence. Imran’s sisters, Aleema Khan and Uzma Khan, were present at the HC as it announced its verdict.
“The copy of the judgment will be available shortly … all we are saying now is that Imran’s request has been approved,” Chief Justice Farooq said.
Following the HC’s order, the PTI demanded that Imran be immediately released from jail. A video posted by the party on X showed pro-lawyers chanting “Khan ko riha karo (release Khan)” outside the HC.
PTI information secretary Raoof Hasan, posting on X, termed the suspension of Khan’s sentence as a “re-scripting of Pakistan’s political & legal history”.
“After suspension of @ImranKhanPTI sentence in the Toshakhana case, his arrest in any other fake & fraudulent case will be ill-intentioned & mala fide. Justice must prevail – and justice shall prevail,” Hasan posted on X (formerly Twitter).
PTI lawyer Shoaib Shaheen said Imran should be provided compensation for the number of days spent in prison.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), however, expressed displeasure over the HC’s order, with party president and former PM Shehbaz Sharif saying Imran’s sentence had been suspended,“not terminated”.
“The Chief Justice of Pakistan’s message of ‘Good to see you (Imran)’ and ‘Wish you (Imran) good luck’ has reached the Islamabad HC,” Sharif said, claiming that “everyone knew about the verdict before it was even announced”.
“This moment is a matter of concern for our justice system,” Shehbaz, under whose brief term as PM nearly 200 cases were filed against Imran, said on X. “If a clear message is received from the higher judiciary, what else should the subordinate court do?”
Khan was sentenced to three years in prison by a trial court in the Toshakhana case on August 5 for failing to disclose in his annual declaration of assets the money he earned from selling gifts he had received during his time in office (2018-2022). The gifts, with an estimated worth of $635,000, included Rolex wristwatches, a ring and a pair of cufflinks. His conviction in the case had barred him from contesting an election for five years.
Imran had subsequently filed an appeal in the HC against his conviction. He had also approached the Supreme Court (SC) against the HC’s decision to send the case back to trial court judge Humayun Dilawar, who had convicted him.
Last week, the SC had accepted “procedural defects” in Imran’s conviction but had opted to wait for the HC decision on his plea.


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