Only a day after he was sentenced to a decade in jail, former Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan on Wednesday was ordered jailed for 14 years in a separate case, dealing him one other heavy blow in his bitter feud with the nation’s highly effective navy.
The brand new sentence, handed down eight days earlier than a scheduled nationwide election wherein Mr. Khan’s occasion has been battered by a widening crackdown, got here in a case involving state presents. His spouse, Bushra Bibi, additionally obtained a 14-year sentence. Each have denied any wrongdoing.
In asserting the decision on the high-security jail the place Mr. Khan, 71, has been held for months, the decide additionally mentioned that the previous prime minister and his spouse can be barred from holding workplace for 10 years.
Mr. Khan questioned the equity and impartiality of the trial throughout the listening to on Wednesday. He requested the decide: “Why are you in a rush to announce the decision? I’ve not even recorded my closing assertion.” Mr. Khan then exited the courtroom, and the decide introduced the sentence in his absence.
His legal professionals mentioned they might enchantment the decision. They’ve additionally mentioned they’ll enchantment the 10-year sentence that Mr. Khan obtained on Tuesday, in a case involving state secrets and techniques.
“These instances will not be trials; it is a drama,” Syed Ali Zafar, a senior authorized aide to Mr. Khan, instructed reporters. “The Structure and the regulation have been violated; there isn’t any doubt that this punishment can be suspended quickly.”
However analysts mentioned that Mr. Khan’s destiny was much less a judicial matter than a political one, following a well-known sample wherein standard politicians in Pakistan have been barred from politics after falling out with the navy institution. Prime generals have lengthy guided the nation’s politics from behind the scenes.
In 2017, Nawaz Sharif, a three-time prime minister who additionally has a historical past of operating afoul of the navy, was faraway from workplace after the Supreme Courtroom dominated that corruption allegations had disqualified him.
Mr. Sharif now seems to have been rehabilitated by the navy, after his earlier sentences had been overturned and he was allowed to return to Pakistan from exile. He’s now operating an election marketing campaign within the hope of changing into prime minister for a file fourth time.
His rival, Mr. Khan, a former world-famous cricketer, was faraway from energy in April 2022 after a parliamentary vote of no confidence, which got here quickly after a rift developed between him and the navy’s senior command.
Since then, he has led a robust political marketing campaign, defiantly taking over the generals and setting off a wave of discontent and anger amongst a big part of society. His recognition amongst residents stays excessive, regardless of makes an attempt to sideline him.
Nonetheless, analysts mentioned Mr. Khan’s authorized troubles had enormously diminished the possibilities of success for his political occasion, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, or P.T.I., on the polls on Feb. 8.
“These convictions will certainly dent the morale of Mr. Khan’s occasion staff,” mentioned Sabir Shah, a political analyst within the japanese metropolis of Lahore.