In a significant development, an Accountability Court has handed down a 14-year prison sentence to the former Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and his wife, Bushra Bibi, in connection with the Toshakhana reference. The court, presided over by AC-I Judge Muhammad Bashir at Central Jail Adiala Rawalpindi, also imposed a hefty fine of Rs787 million on the convicted couple, prohibiting them from holding any public office for the next ten years.
The verdict comes after a thorough examination of the prosecution’s case, with the court deeming the evidence presented sufficient to support the conviction. The decision was delivered in the presence of the ex-Chairman of PTI, who was in the courtroom when the sentencing was announced.
During the proceedings, the judge inquired whether the founder chairman of PTI had submitted his statement under Section 342 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The response indicated that a statement had been prepared, and a request for additional time was made until the presence of legal representatives. However, the court denied the request and proceeded to deliver the concise verdict.
It’s worth noting that the court had previously eliminated the right of cross-examination of witnesses by the defense lawyers. This decision has raised procedural questions regarding the fairness of the trial.
The Toshakhana reference revolves around allegations that the founder of PTI and his spouse retained a jewelry set received from the Saudi crown prince against an undervalued assessment. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed this reference last month, marking a pivotal moment in the legal proceedings against the high-profile figures.
As this verdict sends shockwaves through the political landscape, it raises questions about the transparency and fairness of the legal process. The convicted couple’s future, along with the broader implications for the PTI and the political climate in Pakistan, remains uncertain as they face a lengthy prison term and a substantial
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