Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan, wife indicted on graft charges

Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan, wife indicted on graft charges
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in an interview with Reuters in Lahore, Pakistan in March 17, 2023.
PHOTO: Reuters file

ISLAMABAD — A Pakistani court indicted jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi on Feb 27 on charges that they allegedly received land as a bribe during his premiership, his party said.

Khan, 71, has been in jail since August in connection with other cases, and has previously denied the allegations. He had already been convicted in two cases on corruption charges, that disqualified him from taking part in politics for 10 years.

The trial was held on a jail's premises. The couple pleaded not guilty, the party said.

Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party backed candidates won the largest number of seats in parliament in Feb. 8 national elections despite the convictions and what it says a military backed crackdown.

But his opposition parties led by the Sharif and Bhutto dynasties cobbled together an alliance to make a minority coalition government.

The latest indictment is related to Al-Qadir Trust, which is a non-governmental welfare organisation set up by Khan and his third wife Bushra Bibi in 2018 when he was still in office.

Prosecutors say the trust was a front for Khan to receive valuable land as a bribe from a real estate developer, Malik Riaz Hussain, who is one of Pakistan's richest and most powerful businessmen.

The PTI condemned the indictment. "Trials conducted behind prison walls, only meant to paving way for miscarriage of justice," it said in a statement.

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