Pakistan’s ex-prime minister Imran Khan has been jailed for three years over corruption allegations, charges which he denies.
An Islamabad court found him guilty of illegally selling state gifts, local media reported said on Saturday.
‘Judge Humayun Dilawar announced that involvement in corrupt practices has been proven,’ Pakistan TV said.
The 70-year-old cricketer-turned-politician was not present at the hearing and was arrested at his home in the eastern city of Lahore shortly after the sentencing, Reuters reports.
Mr Khan was first elected in 2018, but was ousted in a no-confidence vote last year.
He was accused of misusing his misusing his position to buy and sell gifts received during visits abroad worth more than 140 million Pakistani rupees ($635,000).
Khan has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and has insisted that the charges against him aare politically motivated.
His party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) said in a statement an appeal has already been filed to the country’s supreme court.
Legal experts say a conviction in the case could end his chances of taking part in the national elections that have to be held before November.
Khan’s arrest and detention for several days in May over a seperate case had sparked intense political turmoil and deadly clashes had erupted between Khan supporters and police.
As the court decision was announced a crowd, which included some prosecuting lawyers, began chanting ‘Imran Khan is a thief’ outside the building.
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