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Imprisoned former Pakistani premier Imran Khan appeals convictions and sentences in 3 legal cases

ISLAMABAD — The legal team of Pakistan’s imprisoned former Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday appealed his convictions and sentences in three controversial legal cases, a defense lawyer said.

Khan was sentenced to a total of 31 years in prison on charges of corruption, revealing official secrets and violation of marriage law. The appeals were filed on Friday, more than two weeks after Khan was convicted and sentenced following trials at a prison in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, Latif Khosa, Khan’s lawyer, said.

It was unclear why Khan’s legal team waited for more than two weeks to file the appeals.

Khan’s convictions and sentencing came ahead of Feb. 8 parliamentary elections in which candidates backed by Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, or PTI, won the most seats.

However, no party was able to get a simple majority in the vote that was held to choose a new parliament and ultimately elect a new premier. Khan could not run because of his convictions.

Khan was sentenced on Jan. 30 to 10 years on the conviction of revealing official secrets. Within the next few days, he was sentenced to 14 years in a graft case and seven years on violation of a marriage law.

Khosa said the appeals of the convictions for revealing official secrets and indulging in corruption have been filed in the Islamabad High Court, while an appeal of the conviction of Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi on a charge of violation of a marriage law was filed in another court.

Meanwhile, Khan’s PTI and several other political parties rallied Friday against alleged rigging of the Feb. 8 vote, with thousands gathering near the southern city of Hyderabad. Khan’s party also issued a call for nationwide protests against the alleged vote rigging for Saturday.

The party of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, which replaced Khan’s government after his ouster in a vote of no confidence in 2022, is finalizing a power sharing deal to form a coalition government. Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League party is in talks with the Pakistan People’s Party of former President Asif Ali Zardari and those allies who had replaced Khan in 2022.

Khan has been embroiled in more than 170 legal cases, including inciting people to violence after his arrest in May 2023. During nationwide riots in May, Khan’s supporters attacked the military headquarters in Rawalpindi, stormed an air base in Mianwali in the eastern Punjab province and torched a building housing state-run Radio Pakistan in the northwest.

The violence subsided only when Khan was released at the time by the Supreme Court.

Khosa said Khan’s legal team is seeking the suspension of all three convictions and sentences given to Khan and his wife.

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