Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was arrested on Saturday after a trial court in Islamabad pronounced him guilty of corruption, reported Dawn.
The case pertains to Election Commission of Pakistan’s criminal complaint against Khan for not disclosing details about money he had earned from selling state gifts. The gifts, reported to be worth more than $6,35,000 (Rs 5,25,04,181), included Rolex watches, a ring and a pair of cuff links, reported the BBC.
The court has sentenced him to three years in jail and imposed a fine of Rs 29,000, reported Dawn. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief was arrested from his home in Lahore and flown to Islamabad.
Khan, who was not present at the hearing, has denied the charges and said he will appeal to a higher court. In a pre-recorded message that he posted on Twitter, Khan said he had anticipated his arrest.
“I only have one request from you do not sit quietly at home,” Khan said. “All my struggle is for you and the future of your kids. If you do not stand up for your rights you will end up living a life of slave.”
This is the second time that the cricketer-turned-politician was arrested this year.
Khan was arrested on May 9 during a court appearance in Islamabad for his alleged involvement in another corruption case. His arrest then had sparked nationwide protests. The protestors had attacked military buildings, including the home of the most senior military commander in Lahore, alleging that the Pakistani Army was behind Khan’s arrest.
However, on May 12, the politician was granted bail following an order by the country’s Supreme Court.
More than 100 cases have been brought against Khan since he was removed as the prime minister in April last year. Khan has alleged that the charges against him are politically motivated.
Unlike May, the arrest on Saturday was not met with severe resistance from Khan or his party workers. Following the riots in May, several members of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf have left the party while some have been jailed.
The Pakistan government, led by Shehbaz Sharif of the Pakistan Muslim League, has banned the country’s media from mentioning Khan by name or showing his image, reported the BBC.