Islamabad HC resumes Imran Khan’s Toshakhana Case appeal hearing


The Islamabad High Court on Monday resumed hearing on former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan’s plea seeking the suspension of his three-year jail term in the Toshakhana corruption case. A trial court in Islamabad convicted and sentenced the 70-year-old Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman to three years in prison on August 5.
Khan was sentenced on charges of unlawfully selling state gifts acquired by him and his family during his 2018-2022 tenure. He has also been barred from politics for five years, preventing him from contesting an upcoming election. A division bench comprising Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri is presiding over the hearing while both parties’ counsels are also present in the courtroom, the Dawn newspaper reported. Last week, the Supreme Court acknowledged “procedural defects” in Khan’s conviction but opted to wait for the IHC decision on the former prime minister’s plea, the report said. The case was launched last year in October on the complaint of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) which had earlier disqualified Khan in the same case.
After a hearing spanning over months, Judge Humayun Dilawar of the Islamabad-based sessions court on August 5 awarded a three-year sentence to Khan for hiding the proceeds he got from the sale of state gifts. Khan within days challenged the conviction in the Islamabad High Court (IHC), seeking to suspend his sentence and overturn the judgment. The court held the initial hearing on August 22 but adjourned the cases till August 24 after ECP lawyer Pervez failed to turn up. Khan’s counsel Advocate Khosa had expressed his dissatisfaction with the court, saying he would not appear at the next hearing.
Subsequently, IHC Chief Justice Farooq, who was presiding over the hearing and in whom the PTI chief has expressed a lack of confidence, had asserted he would decide on the matter on Monday “even if no one appears”, it said.
Separately, a three-member Supreme Court panel led by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail was also hearing petitions against the Toshakhana case. The Supreme Court held a brief hearing on Thursday and adjourned the case with remarks that it would wait for the outcome of the hearing in the IHC. The Toshakhana case was filed by ruling party lawmakers in 2022 in the ECP, alleging that Khan concealed the proceeds from the sale of state gifts.