Imran Khan and his wife get seven-year prison sentence for unlawful marriage

Imran Khan and his wife get seven-year prison sentence for unlawful marriage
# 04 February 2024 00:25 (UTC +04:00)

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Khan were sentenced to seven years in prison and fined on Saturday by a court that ruled their 2018 marriage broke the law, his party said, APA reports.

It was the third ruling against Khan this week and comes ahead of national elections on Thursday that he is barred from contesting.

It was not immediately clear if his various sentences would run concurrently.

Khan is in prison in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, while his wife will serve her sentence at their hilltop mansion in nearby Islamabad. He already faces a 10-year disqualification from holding public office.

"After hours of rushed hearings at court, no cross examination of witnesses, and no due process - a mockery of the law," Khan's party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), said in a statement.

"With the way these trials are being conducted, there will be a huge question mark on the February 8th elections. This is a test case for Pakistan's higher judiciary."

The couple were each fined 500,000 rupees ($1,800), ARY News reported.

Bushra was accused of not completing the waiting period mandated by Islam, called "Iddat", after divorcing her previous husband and marrying Khan.

The Khans signed their marriage contract, or "Nikkah", in January 2018 in a secret ceremony seven months before the former cricket superstar became prime minister for the first time.

There was controversy over whether they had wed before the period was complete. After initial denials of the marriage, PTI confirmed it weeks later.

The Khans both denied wrongdoing.

"Can say I’m a witness in the Nikkah and it’s a categorically yet another fake case," Khan's media advisor Zulfi Bukhari told Reuters. "From witnesses to the evidence to the procedure."

Khan, 71, has in recent days been sentenced to 10 years for leaking state secrets and 14 years along with this wife for illegally selling state gifts. His representatives say he will launch appeals in all three cases.

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