In the ‘un-Islamic’ marriage case, the court on Saturday criticized former prime minister Imran Khan and his wife, Bushra Bibi, to seven years in prison apiece. The ex-premier and his wife were also punished with Rs 0.5 million each.
After five days, the PTI leader has now received three sentences. In the Cypher case, the former premier was earlier this week sentenced to 10 years in prison; in the Toshakhana case, the penalty was for 14 years.
After a lengthy 14-hour hearing that concluded on Friday night, the court reserved its choice in the “un-Islamic” marriage issue last night.
Senior Civil Judge Qudratullah of Islamabad presided over the hearing, which took place within the Adiala jail in Rawalpindi.
Bushra Bibi’s first husband, Khawar Maneka, filed a complaint in court, claiming that Bushra violated Islamic law by failing to keep the required period, or Iddat, between marriages. Maneka additionally accused Khan and his ex-wife of having an extramarital affair before to their marriage.
Four prosecution witnesses—Maneka, Aun Chaudhry, Nikah Khawan Mufti Saeed, and Maneka’s subservient Latif—were already put through cross-examination. Advocates Salman Akram Raja for Imran and Osman Riaz Gul for Bushra led the defensive teams.
In their joint statement of 342, Khan and Bushra replied to 13 questions. Bushra claimed in her statement that she received a verbal triple talaq from Maneka in April 2017 and that the divorce certificate dated November 14, 2017, was a forgery. She added that she completed the required iddat period from April to August 2017.
The defense’s motion to call more witnesses was denied by the court. In addition, jurisdictional pleas under Section 179 and an acquittal plea under Section 249-A were denied.
In the February 1 hearing, Maneka brought severe charges against Imran, alleging that the PTI founder had ruined his family and that the illegal relationship had started during the 2014 sit-in. Maneka was challenged by Imran to swear an oath based on the Holy Quran.
Maneka also talked to reporters about the effects the alleged affair had on his family, saying that one son checked himself into a rehab facility and one daughter thought about divorce.
Speaking for the first time in Adiala Jail, Bushra Bibi portrayed herself as the object of a scheme to degrade her. She stated that she would not give in to pressure, described the claims as an effort to undermine Imran and the PTI, and underlined her will to remain strong.
PTI Chairman Barrister Gauhar Khan addressed the media after the verdict’s discharge, labeling the trial “shameful” given the highly private nature of the charges.
Sarcastically, the leader of the party said that the verdict was to be expected.
He said the party plans to ask the high court to overturn the case’s verdict. None of the recent judgments against Imran, says to the PTI chairman, will stand up in court.
Gauhar said, “I told the judge that this was not expected of you,” and that the court was being utilized for political ends.
Addressing party supporters via the media, Gauhar said that Imran has once more asked those who support him to keep their composure and harmony.
“I will bargain, even if it involves spending a thousand years in prison. Gohar cited the PTI founder as stating, “Show your support on February 8 and come out and vote.”
The Cypher Case
In the famous cypher case, former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and former prime minister Imran Khan were sentenced to a decade in prison by a special court created under the Official Secrets Act on January 30.
Judge Abul Hasanat Zulqarnain presided over the court, which rendered its decision at the hearing performed in the Adiala jail premises in Rawalpindi.
The judge asked the former to prepare one final time where the cypher was before sentencing Imran.
“I indicated in my statement that I had no responsibility for the security of the Prime Minister’s House. He said, “I don’t have the cypher.”
The accused was requested to document their responses in the questionnaire, and the judge also gave copies of the statement and the Section 342 questionnaire to the two PTI leaders.
The court announced its verdict following Imran and Qureshi’s recording of their statements by Section 342.
Imran faced another setback on January 31, one day after he was found guilty in the diplomatic cypher case by an accountability court judge. He and his spouse, Bushra Bibi, were found guilty of misusing the state’s gift repository and were given a 14-year prison sentence.
In addition, in what is known as the fastest-ever trial in the history of accountability courts, the accused received fines of Rs. 787 million apiece by the court.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) accused the former premier and his wife of keeping expensive presents that they received when Imran was the nation’s chief executive, violating custom, in a reference that was submitted last month on December 19.
Remarkably, Imran Khan was sentenced to three years in prison and disqualified by another trial court on August 5, 2023, for failing to disclose the gifts he received during his tenure as prime minister in his statements of assets and liabilities submitted with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
Judge Muhammad Bashir of the Islamabad Accountability Court-I conducted the trial on the NAB a referral in Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail, where Imran Khan has been jailed since September of last year.