DEVELOPING STORYDEVELOPING STORY,
Khan’s lawyer says the former prime minister has been arrested in Lahore and a petition against the court decision has been filed.
Police have arrested Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan in the eastern city of Lahore after a Pakistani trial court sentenced him to three years in prison for illegally selling state gifts.
The 70-year-old cricketer-turned-politician was accused of misusing his premiership minister from 2018 to 2022 to buy and sell gifts in state possession that were received during visits abroad and worth more than 140 million Pakistani rupees ($635,000).
“Judge Humayun Dilawar announced that involvement in corrupt practices has been proven,” Pakistan TV said on Saturday.
Khan’s lawyer Intezar Panjotha told the Reuters news agency police arrested Khan from his residence. “We are filing a petition against the decision in high court,” Panjotha added.
Al Jazeera’s Kamal Hyder, reporting from Islamabad, said protocol requires prime ministers to store the objects in the state’s safe house, while Khan is accused of having sold them at a profit.
Hyder added that the opposition leader’s residence had been sealed off and that security forces were patrolling the area.
Khan was not present in court for the hearing. Over 150 cases were brought against him since he was ousted in April last year.
He has denied any wrongdoing, saying the charges are politically motivated.
Legal experts say a conviction in the case could end his chances of participating in national elections that have to be held before early November.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has proposed that parliament be dissolved on August 9, three days before the end of its term, according to political, paving the way for a the vote.
There have been no reports of emerging protests in any of the major cities immediately after Saturday’s arrest.
Last month, Pakistan’s Election Commission issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against Khan, who was accused of using “intemperate language and contemptuous remarks” against the commission.
His arrest and detention for several days in May over a separate case had sparked intense political turmoil and deadly clashes had erupted between Khan supporters and police.