Imprisoned Former Pakistani Premier Khan Appeals 3 Recent Convictions

Supporters of the Grand Democratic Alliance attend a rally to protest against what they call vote-rigging in some constituencies in the parliamentary elections, on the outskirts of Hyderabad, Pakistan, Friday, Feb. 16, 2024. (AP Photo/Pervez Masih)
Supporters of the Grand Democratic Alliance attend a rally to protest against what they call vote-rigging in some constituencies in the parliamentary elections, on the outskirts of Hyderabad, Pakistan, Friday, Feb. 16, 2024. (AP Photo/Pervez Masih)
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ISLAMABAD (AP) — The legal team of Pakistan’s imprisoned former Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday appealed his recent 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 marriage law violations in three separate verdicts in late January and early February during trials at a prison in Rawalpindi. The appeals in all three cases were filed Friday, Khan's lawyer Latif Khosa said.

Supporters of Khan said the prosecutions were politically motivated moves to make him ineligible to run in the country’s Feb. 8 elections to choose a parliament and ultimately to elect a new prime minister.

Despite Khan's legal woes, candidates backed his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, or PTI, won the most seats. However, no party was able to get a simple majority in the vote to rule alone, though Khan's rivals have announced they are forming a coalition government.

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 corruption and revealing official secrets 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 on Saturday. However, Islamabad police in a statement Friday warned PTI and other political parties not to hold any rally in the capital, where a ban on such gatherings has been in place since December for security reasons. The statement said action would be taken against anyone who defies the ban.

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.