Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan Indicted in Leaked Documents Case

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan Indicted in Leaked Documents Case

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, who has been embroiled in multiple legal cases since his ousting from power, was indicted on Monday for allegedly leaking classified documents, a prosecutor confirmed. The charge carries a potential prison term of up to 14 years.

Imran Khan, a populist politician, was previously incarcerated in August, initially sentenced to three years for graft. However, that sentence was overturned, and he was detained on the more serious charge of sharing state documents.

Shah Khawar of Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) stated that Khan was formally indicted, and the charge was openly read outside Adiala Jail, where he is currently held.

The case revolves around a cable that Khan asserted as evidence that his removal from office was part of a U.S.-backed conspiracy, supported by Pakistan’s powerful military establishment, as reported by the FIA. Both the United States and Pakistan’s military have denied these claims.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the vice-chairman of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party and a former foreign minister, has also been indicted in connection with this case. According to a PTI spokesperson, both individuals face charges under the colonial-era Official Secrets Act, with their trial taking place within the court premises without public or media access.

Khan’s legal team has pointed out that the crime he is charged with carries a possible 14-year prison term and, in the most severe circumstances, the death penalty.

Imran Khan, once a cricketing superstar, retains significant support in Pakistan. However, his confrontational stance against the powerful military establishment has led to a widespread crackdown. Riots following his initial arrest in May resulted in the detention of thousands of his supporters, while many senior party leaders were forced underground, with some eventually disassociating themselves from PTI due to Khan’s criticism of the military.

Political analyst Rasul Bakhsh Rais noted, “He is facing legal matters, but the intent of the regime is quite clear – that they don’t want to leave any corner for his escape, regardless of whether the charges are real or fabricated.”

On Monday, Pakistan’s Supreme Court reserved its decision after an appeal challenging the use of military courts to try civilians accused of damaging army installations during the riots that followed Khan’s first arrest.

Pakistan’s military has significantly influenced the country’s governance, with periods of direct rule throughout its history. Currently, Pakistan is led by an interim government, with electoral polls postponed several times.

Imran Khan’s primary political opponent, three-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, recently returned to Pakistan after four years of self-imposed exile. Sharif, who was jailed for corruption and disqualified from contesting the 2018 elections, returned after receiving protective bail to enable his arrival in Lahore, his political stronghold.

Pakistan’s political landscape often hinges on the relationship between leaders and the military, and the country’s legal proceedings have been criticized for stifling dissent by subjecting lawmakers to lengthy legal processes.


Author: CrimeDoor

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