A Pakistani court convicted and sentenced the former professional cricketer and his wife to seven years in prison on a charge that their 2018 marriage violated the law
Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan has landed another seven-year jail sentence on top of the 14 years handed down on Wednesday.
A Pakistani court convicted and sentenced the former professional cricketer and his wife to seven years in prison on a charge that their 2018 marriage violated the law, officials and a defence lawyer said. The verdict follows another case in which Khan and his wife, Bushra Bibi, were sentenced to 14 years for corruption. It comes ahead of the February 8 parliamentary elections in which Khan has already been disqualified because of his graft convictions.
The lawyer for the couple, Intisar Panjutha, said the verdict was announced by Judge Qudrat Ullah a day after the trial ended. Khan and his family insist the trial is politically motivated. The prosecution said Khan and his wife violated the law that a woman must wait three months before marrying again. It was Khan’s fourth conviction since 2022 when he was ousted from power. The sentences will be served concurrently.
The ruling was condemned by Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party. Its head, Gohar Khan, told reporters that Khan will appeal. “This is a bogus case against Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi, but still they were given maximum prison sentence by the court,” he said. Bibi, Khan’s third wife, was a spiritual healer who was previously married to a man who had claimed that they divorced in November 2017, less than three months before she married Khan. Bibi has said their divorce was in August 2017.
Khan previously was married to socialite Jemima Goldsmith and journalist Reham Khan, and both Khan and Bibi during the trial repeatedly denied that they violated the three-month waiting period. It’s a requirement of the Islamic law that is upheld by Pakistan. The couple were also fined 500,000 rupees (£4,768) each.
Khan is currently serving multiple prison terms at Adiala prison in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, where his trials were held because of security concerns. He has also been embroiled in more than 150 cases, which include inciting people to violence after his arrest in May 2023.
During nationwide riots in May, Khan’s supporters attacked the military headquarters in Rawalpindi, stormed an air base in Mianwali in the eastern Punjab province and torched a building housing state-run Radio Pakistan in the northwest. The violence subsided only when Khan was released at the time by the Supreme Court. Khan and Bibi also face another graft case allegedly involving giving undue benefits to a property tycoon in return for establishing an Islamic university.