Former PM And Wife Convicted In Marriage Scandal

Officials and a lawyer in Pakistan said on Saturday that a court had found former prime minister Imran Khan and his wife guilty of a lawbreaking marriage in 2018 and sentenced them to seven years in jail.

On Wednesday, the court’s sentence for Khan and his wife, Bushra Bibi, was 14 years in jail for corruption in a separate case where they were found guilty. This is just before the legislative elections on February 8, when Khan’s party is already in a precarious position.

This conviction is Khan’s fourth since his ouster from office in 2022. All three of his sentences, totaling 34 years, will run consecutively.

The powerful military establishment of Pakistan has governed the country for half of its 76-year existence, and analysts believe that Khan’s party and followers view his frequent and seemingly expedited convictions as punishment for his speech against them. Khan turned his site on the military in his struggle against his opponents during his last months in office.

Judge Qudrat Ullah pronounced the decision one day after the trial concluded, according to Intisar Panjutha, the couple’s lawyer. The Khan family and Khan himself have maintained that the prosecution is politically driven.

A woman is required by law to wait three months before she may get married again; the prosecution claimed that Khan and his wife broke this rule.

Bibi, a spiritual healer and Khan’s third wife, had a prior marriage to a man who said they had divorced in November 2017, just three months before she wed Khan. In August 2017, according to Bibi, they filed for a divorce.

She and Khan, who had already tied the knot twice, denied breaking the three-month waiting period, which is mandated by Islamic law and supported by Pakistan.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Khan’s political party, strongly disagreed with the verdict. The pair were also punished with 1,800 ($500,000) rupees.

Khan will be appealing.

He was also arrested in May 2023 and is currently involved in over 150 court proceedings, including one for instigating violence.