Ex-Pakistani leader Imran Khan got a 10-year jail term for sharing government secrets.
Khan, who was removed as the Prime Minister in 2022, is currently in jail for three years because he was found guilty of being corrupt.
He said that all the accusations against him were done to hurt him in politics.
He was found guilty under the secrets act just before the elections, and he is not allowed to run for office.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who used to be a foreign minister, and is now the vice-chairman of Imran Khan’s PTI party, was given a 10-year prison sentence by a special court in Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, where both men are currently held.
The cipher case is about the suspected sharing of secret letters from Pakistan’s ambassador in Washington to the government in Islamabad while Khan was prime minister.
It’s about when he showed up at a big meeting in March 2022, just before he was kicked out of his job as leader in a vote by the parliament. Imran Khan came on stage and showed a paper, claiming it proved that there was a plan from another country to harm him.
He said very clearly that “everything will be forgiven if Imran Khan is no longer in charge”. He didn’t say which country it was, but he had a lot of bad things to say about the United States.
The prosecutor said that the ex-Prime Minister leaked a secret document and harmed relationships with other countries. The second accusation can result in life in prison or even being sentenced to death.
Imran Khan has been in Adiala jail most of the time since he was arrested in August. Foreign reporters were not allowed to go to the court hearings that have been happening for the past few months.
The news said that the judge was asked to speed up the trial. A PTI representative said they will fight the court decision and said it was a joke.
“We don’t agree with this bad choice,” said Naeem Panjutha, a lawyer for the ex-prime minister who has many legal cases. He posted this on X (formerly Twitter).
Another person who works for Khan told the Reuters news agency that his lawyers didn’t get to help him or question the people giving evidence.
The election on 8 February is late, and some people say the PTI party is not getting a fair chance to campaign.
The government says they didn’t attack the PTI, but lots of its leaders are in jail or have left the party. Its candidates have to run for election as independents and some are hiding.
The police arrested many of its supporters after there were protests, some of which were violent, last May when Imran Khan was first taken into custody.
The party cannot use the cricket bat symbol anymore. This symbol is important in a country where many people can’t read, so voters can use it to mark their ballots.
Many are doubting if next Thursday’s vote is fair, because Imran Khan, who is still one of Pakistan’s most popular politicians, and his party have been ignored.
The man expected to win is Nawaz Sharif, who has been Prime Minister three times before and came back from living outside the country. For a long time, he caused problems for the powerful military. He was put in jail for being dishonest before the 2018 election that Imran Khan won.
Now things are different. Nawaz Sharif’s legal problems have disappeared, which makes many people think that the government supports him now. At the same time, his opponent, who was once liked by the military, is not liked anymore