Just 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 new sentence, handed down eight days earlier than a scheduled nationwide election during which Mr. Khan’s party has been battered by a widening crackdown, got here in a case involving state items. His spouse, Bushra Bibi, additionally acquired a 14-year sentence. Both have denied any wrongdoing.
In saying the decision on the high-security jail the place Mr. Khan, 71, has been held for months, the judge additionally stated that the previous prime minister and his spouse could be barred from holding workplace for 10 years.
Mr. Khan questioned the equity and impartiality of the trial through the listening to on Wednesday. He requested the judge: “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 judge introduced the sentence in his absence.
His attorneys stated they might attraction the decision. They have additionally stated they are going to attraction the 10-year sentence that Mr. Khan acquired on Tuesday, in a case involving state secrets and techniques.
“These instances are usually not trials; it is a drama,” Syed Ali Zafar, a senior authorized aide to Mr. Khan, instructed reporters. “The Constitution and the legislation have been violated; there is no such thing as a doubt that this punishment shall be suspended quickly.”
But analysts stated that Mr. Khan’s destiny was much less a judicial matter than a political one, following a well-recognized sample during which common politicians in Pakistan have been barred from politics after falling out with the navy institution. Top 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 working afoul of the navy, was faraway from workplace after the Supreme Court 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 is now working an election marketing campaign within the hope of changing into prime minister for a document 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 strong political marketing campaign, defiantly taking up 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.
Still, analysts stated Mr. Khan’s authorized troubles had tremendously diminished the possibilities of success for his political party, 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 party staff,” stated Sabir Shah, a political analyst within the japanese metropolis of Lahore.