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All eyes on Islamabad court as verdict on Imran, Bushra iddat case due today

All eyes on Islamabad court as verdict on Imran, Bushra iddat case due today

ISLAMABAD, JUN 27: All eyes are on an Islamabad local court, which is due to announce a verdict on the pleas filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi seeking suspension of their sentences in the iddat case today (Thursday), which may end the former prime minister’s imprisonment.

Khan, the deposed prime minister who was ousted from power via the opposition’s no-confidence motion in April 2022, has been facing a slew of charges ranging from corruption to terrorism since his removal as the premier.

He has been behind bars since August last year after he was sentenced in the Toshakhana case and subsequently sentenced in other cases ahead of the February 8 elections.

Despite securing relief in other cases including £190 million reference and Toshakhana, and acquittal in the cipher case earlier this month, the former premier remains behind bars due to his conviction in the iddat case.

The district court had sentenced the PTI founder and Bushra each, to seven years in prison in February earlier this year after a trial court found their nikah to be fraudulent after Khawar Maneka, Bushra’s ex-husband, moved the court against the couple’s marriage.

The complainant stressed that the marriage was solemnised during Bushra’s iddat (the time a woman goes into isolation after a divorce or her husband’s death).

The couple had then filed various appeals including the ones against their conviction and those seeking suspension of their sentences.

Trial court Judge Shahrukh Arjumand had reserved the verdict on their appeals challenging their conviction on May 23.

However, in light of Maneka’s repeated expression of no-confidence, the Islamabad High Court (IHC), on Judge Arujmand’s request, had then transferred the case to the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Muhammad Afzal Majuka.

The district and sessions court on June 25, reserved its verdict on pleas against Khan and Bushra’s conviction, after directives from the IHC to decide the matter of suspension of the sentences within 10 days.

The court had also given one month for the decision on the petition filed by the couple against their conviction.

Meanwhile, Bushra had sought a decision on her plea filed in the sessions court seeking sentence suspension.

The reserved verdict will be announced on June 27 (Thursday) at 3pm, while the hearing on the couple’s pleas seeking annulment of their conviction in the said case will be resumed on July 2.

PTI awaits a favourable decision as a major relief for its founding chairman as he has been acquitted in some cases or has acquired bail in others.

However, it is also likely that the government will try to block Khan’s release as Prime Minister’s Adviser on Political and Public Affairs Rana Sanaullah on Tuesday gave credence to the reports that the Centre was planning to lodge new cases against the jailed PTI founder.

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