This is Khan’s fourth conviction since 2022 and adds to the troubles of the beleaguered founder of the political party ahead of the February 8 polls.
Senior Civil Judge Qudratullah sentenced Khan, 71, and his Bushra Biwi, 49, and also slapped fines of Rs 5,00,000 each on the couple at the Adiala Jail premises at Rawalpindi.
Ahead of the general elections next week, Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party has been robbed of the iconic election symbol of the cricket bat, his and his party colleagues’ nomination papers have been rejected and at least one of his party leaders has been killed in the poll-related violence.
Speaking to the media outside the Adiala jail, Imran Khan’s lawyer, Barrister Gohar Khan, said that “shameless, scandalous and unethical allegations” have been made for political motives. “This is a case that has no basis whatsoever, but in fact, was simply filed on the behest of Aun Chaudhry — a former close aid of Khan and one of the key witnesses in the said case,” Geo News reported quoting Gohar Khan.
“The cleric, who solemnised the nikah, has himself admitted that Chaudhry ‘picked him up’,” Gohar told reporters.
In response to a question regarding the legal grounds for Saturday’s sentence, Khan’s counsel revealed that the judge maintained that the defence’s reliance on the Supreme Court verdict regarding the 39-day iddat is a “general precedent” and is not applicable in this case.
He further said that the court relied on the second function, held for family and children to take them into confidence, as the “valid nikah” instead of the actual nikah that was solemnised before that. The judge considered the second function as the actual nikah and not the first,” Geo News reported.
“All of this is being done in violation of the constitution for political motives and character assassination of Khan sahib,” the Barrister said referring to the PTI head.
Asserting that the party will move the high court against the verdict, Gohar Khan said, “We are hopeful for justice if these cases are presented before a free and fair tribunal. I call on the judiciary to uphold their oath and protect our fundamental rights by ensuring principles of justice.”
Conveying the PTI’s founder message for his voters, the lawyer said that the former premier has called on his supporters to remain peaceful and persevere in these tough times. “Even if I have to spend a thousand years here [in jail], I would not make any deal,” Gohar Khan said quoting Khan.