Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan acquitted in state secrets case

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was acquitted of leaking state secrets, but will remain in prison due to a conviction in another case.

In the run-up to February’s election, the 71-year-old, who was ousted as prime minister in 2022, received three prison sentences for cases he said were politically motivated.

Khan was sentenced to 10 years in prison in January accused of making public a diplomatic cable in 2022.

The Islamabad High Court upheld his appeal and acquitted him in that case on Monday, but he is not expected to be released from prison for now.

The former cricket star and his third wife, Bushra, are serving prison terms after a court ruled their 2018 marriage had been cancelled. anti-islamic and illegal since it came too soon after their divorce.

The couple were also found guilty of corruption over gifts received during their tenure as prime minister.

Even behind bars, the former cricket star remains a powerful force in Pakistani politics.

During the February elections, his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, which had been forced to field candidates as independents, emerged as the largest bloc.

However, they did not reach the majority or their rivals. united to form a new government.

In the so-called “crypto case,” prosecutors argued that Khan had leaked a classified cable sent to Pakistan’s ambassador in Washington.

At a rally in March 2022, the then-prime minister appeared on stage waving a piece of paper that he said showed a foreign conspiracy against him.

He did not name the country, but was later very critical of the United States. Officials in Washington and Pakistan denied the claim.

Prosecutors said Khan’s actions amounted to leaking a classified document and damaging diplomatic relations.

Khan’s foreign minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, was also sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Both men were acquitted of the charges on Monday.

“Thank God, the sentence has been quashed,” PTI spokesperson Naeem Panjutha said in a post on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

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