Toshakhana Corruption Case: Imran Khan Gets Bail, Islamabad High Court Suspends 3-Year Jail Sentence

The former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan was sentenced three-year jail on the Toshakhana corruption case which involved unlawful selling of state gifts acquired by him and his family during his 2018-2022 tenure.

Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan

The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday suspended former prime minister Imran Khan's three-year jail sentence in the Toshakhana corruption case. A trial court in Islamabad convicted and sentenced the 70-year-old Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman to three years in prison on August 5.

After hearing both parties’ counsels on Monday, a division bench comprising Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri reserved the verdict and informed that the reserved judgment would be announced at 11:00 AM on Tuesday.

The former Pakistan prime minister was sentenced on the Toshakhana corruption case which involved unlawful selling of state gifts acquired by him and his family during his 2018-2022 tenure.

According to the official notification issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), "the Chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was disqualified after being found guilty of corrupt practices under Section 167 of the Elections Act, 2017 and his sentencing for three years."

The legal proceedings so far

Earlier on Monday, the IHC resumed hearing on Khan's plea challenging his conviction in the Toshakhana corruption case.

It had adjourned the case on Friday after the lawyer representing the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) did not appear due to illness.

Khan’s lawyer Latif Khosa completed his argument on Thursday, asserting that the verdict was given in haste and full of shortcomings. He urged the court to set aside the sentence but the defence team demanded more time to complete its arguments.

Many believe that a favourable ruling for Khan may come after the Supreme Court highlighted faults in the judgment convicting Khan.

Separately, a three-member Supreme Court panel led by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial heard petitions against the Toshakhana case on Monday.

The apex court bench has fixed the hearing of the Toshakhana case on Tuesday, according to Khan's party.

The party said that the top court would hear the case after the announcement of the verdict by the Islamabad High Court.

Earlier, the Supreme Court on Wednesday, after hearing various petitions against the Toshakhana case, observed that there were “shortcomings” in the judgment of the sessions court.

The panel observed that the verdict was given in haste and without giving the right of defence to the accused. “Prima facie, there are shortcomings in the trial court verdict,” the chief justice said.

The apex court had also stated it would wait for the IHC hearing before giving its judgment. It resumed the hearing Thursday but adjourned it without fixing any date after it was told that the IHC was holding a hearing.

About the Toshakhana Case

The Toshakhana is known to be a federal government department which is bestowed with the responsibility of all the valuables received by the officials and elected leaders while in office. 

Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan has been  accused of keeping the department in dark about certain gifts and for irregularities in the sale of certain gifts in deposited in Toshakhana. 

The Toshakhana case says that Khan “deliberately concealed” details of the gifts he retained from the Toshakhana, a repository where presents handed to government officials from foreign officials are kept, during his time as the prime minister and proceeds from their reported sales.

Khan is accused of misusing his 2018 to 2022 premiership to buy and sell gifts in state possession that were received during visits abroad and worth more than Rs 140 million (USD 635,000).