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Imran Khan, Pakistani ex-PM bags 10-year jail sentence

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Ex cricketer Imran Khan in early lead in Pakistan election

Imran Khan, the former prime minister of Pakistan, was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Tuesday in a contentious case in which he was accused of leaking state secrets and documents, according to the official media and a spokesman for his party.

The verdict was handed out during a trial held inside the jail, where Khan has been confined for much of the time since his detention in August. It comes as the country prepares to vote on February 8.

“Former prime minister Imran Khan and PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf) vice president (Shah Mahmood) Qureshi have been sentenced to 10 years each inside prison in the cipher case,” a spokesman for the party told the Press.

The case revolves around how the two handled a “cipher” delivered by Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, which claimed Washington was involved in a plot to remove Khan from office in 2022.

Khan, who was overthrown as Prime Minister by his opponents in 2022, is already serving a three-year prison sentence after being convicted of corruption.

He has claimed that all of the charges brought against him are politically motivated.

The conviction under the Secrets Act comes only a week before the general election, in which he is forbidden from standing.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi, former foreign minister and vice chairman of Mr. Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, was also sentenced to 10 years in prison by the special court.

However, his PTI party said it would challenge the court ruling, which it called “a mockery.”

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