What is Toshakhana corruption case in which Imran Khan, Bushra Bibi are jailed? | World News - Hindustan Times

Explained: What is Toshakhana corruption case in which ex-Pakistan PM Imran Khan, Bushra Bibi are jailed for 14 years?

Jan 31, 2024 01:18 PM IST

The verdict, issued by an anti-graft court in Islamabad, also stated that the couple would be disqualified from holding public office for the next 10 years.

Pakistan's former prime minister Imran Khan and his wife have been sentenced to 14 years in prison in a case relating to the illegal sale of state gifts, his party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) said on Wednesday. Khan has been accused of retaining expensive state gifts when he was the prime minister.

Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan (AFP)
Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan (AFP)

The verdict, issued by an anti-graft court in Islamabad, also stated that the couple would be disqualified from holding public office for the next 10 years, Reuters reported. They have also been slapped with a fine of 787 million each.

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The sentence came a day after 71-year-old Khan and his party's deputy, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, received 10-year prison sentences on Tuesday for disclosing official secrets.

Khan's media team said, “Another sad day in our judicial system history, which is being dismantled. No cross-questioning allowed, no final argument concluded and decision pops up like a pre-determined process in play. This ridiculous decision will also be challenged.”

What is the corruption case?

The Toshakhana rules - pertaining to gifts from the state treasury - state that government officials are allowed to keep gifts as long as they pay a price for them. However, the gifts should be first deposited.

Tosakhana is a department under the Cabinet Division which keeps gifts and expensive things received by all public officials.

Explained: What is the cipher case in which former Pakistan PM Imran Khan was jailed for 10 years?

The rules say that PMs and Presidents can keep gifts costing less than PKR 30,000 for themselves. Public officials can also pay 50 per cent, updated by Khan in 2018 from 20 per cent, of the gift's value to retain other gifts.

As reported by PTI, the couple either did not deposit the gifts or kept them for a lower price by using their authority.

The controversy was first highlighted when the coalition government formed under Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) filed a case against Khan in August 2022. The PML-N claimed that Khan did not disclose information regarding gifts presented to the Toshakhana and also resorted to the “illegal” sale of certain gifts.

When Khan came to power in 2018, he showed resistance regarding disclosing gifts received from other countries stating that it could severely impact foreign relations.

When in power, Khan wrote a letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) admitting to selling at least four presents. However, he claimed that he bought them paying a percentage of the price to the government.

About two months after the case was filed against Khan, the ECP found out that Khan's sale of items wasn't illegal as he paid for them and hence, owned them. However, ECP barred him forgive years from holding public office accusing him of unethical behaviour and making false assertions and declarations.

The gifts included — expensive cufflinks, expensive Rolex watches, a ring and a valuable pen.

The priciest among the watches, a "Master Graff limited edition," is estimated at $300,000, as per Pakistan's information minister.

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    Sanskriti Falor is a Senior Content Producer at the News Desk of HT Digital. Having worked in Digital Media for the past two years, she is interested in covering civic issues and global affairs.

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