On Tuesday, a court handed down a 10-year prison sentence to former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan for disclosing state secrets. Khan, a one-time cricket icon turned politician, is presently serving a three-year term in connection with a corruption case.
He has been detained in Rawalpindi since his arrest in May 2023. The decision was disclosed by a special court established within the prison, as reported by Zulfiqar Bukhari, the chief spokesperson for Khan’s political party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the deputy of his party who was also given a 10-year sentence, are allowed to appeal the decision made on Tuesday, according to the authorities. On Wednesday, Khan’s legal team intended to file an appeal of the conviction with the Islamabad High Court.
In a statement, Khan’s party declared its support for Qureshi and Khan, “who defended Pakistan and stood for real independence.”
One of the more than 150 cases Khan has been involved in since his removal from office in April 2022 due to a no-confidence vote in Parliament is this one, also referred to as the Cipher case. Additional counts include encouraging violence, terrorism, and contempt of court.
In the Cipher case, Khan is accused of waving a classified cable, which is a private document, during a demonstration following his removal from government.
The government and Khan’s attorneys have not made the document available to the public, but it appears to be official correspondence between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad and the Pakistani ambassador in Washington.
Khan has steadfastly defended his innocence and claimed not to have revealed the precise contents of the wire. The PTI was worried that Khan might receive a death sentence for treason.
The decision is made in advance of Pakistan’s legislative elections on February 8.
Because of his anti-establishment rhetoric and grassroots following, Khan is able to exert great influence over the current political landscape of the country even though he is not on the ballot due to his criminal conviction.
The most recent decision, according to political analyst Muhammad Ali, was anticipated for both Khan and his deputy.