Former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan and wife jailed for seven years over ‘illegal’ marriage

Former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan and his wife have been sentenced to seven years in prison after a court ruled their 2018 marriage was illegal.

It is the third ruling against Khan this week and comes ahead of national elections on Thursday that he is barred from contesting.

Khan, 71, has in recent days been sentenced to 10 years for leaking state secrets and 14 years along with his wife Bushra Khan for illegally selling state gifts.

His representatives say he will launch appeals in all three cases. It was not immediately clear if his various sentences would run concurrently.

Khan is in prison in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, while his wife will serve her sentence at their hilltop mansion in nearby Islamabad. He already faces a 10-year disqualification from holding public office.

“After hours of rushed hearings at court, no cross-examination of witnesses, and no due process – a mockery of the law,” Khan‘s party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), said in a statement on Saturday.

“With the way these trials are being conducted, there will be a huge question mark on the February 8th elections. This is a test case for Pakistan’s higher judiciary.”

The couple were also each fined 500,000 rupees (£4,700).

Bushra was accused of not completing the waiting period mandated by Islam, called “Iddat”, after divorcing her previous husband and marrying Khan. The Khans signed their marriage contract, or “Nikkah”, in January 2018 in a secret ceremony seven months before the former cricket superstar became prime minister for the first time.

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