Pakistan court grants bail to Imran Khan’s wife Bushra Bibi in graft case

A special court in Pakistan granted interim bail to the wife of former prime minister Imran Khan in a £190m graft case on Tuesday, local media outlets reported.

This comes months after an Islamabad high court bench approved the bail of Mr Khan in the same case, reported Geo TV.

The couple were accused in the case of receiving of financial help from a land developer in the setting up of the Al Qadir University.

The National Accountability Bureau, Pakistan’s anti-corruption agency, alleged that Mr Khan’s government had struck a deal with property tycoon Malik Riaz that caused more than £190m in losses to the national exchequer.

In December 2019, during an investigation by Britain’s National Crime Agency, Mr Riaz admitted handing over the assets.

Both have denied any wrongdoing, with Mr Khan at the time saying the land was donated for charitable purposes.

Bibi will remain in prison as she is also serving a sentence in a case involving her marriage with Mr Khan.

Meanwhile, a United Nations human rights panel on Monday called for the immediate release of Mr Khan, saying he had been detained “arbitrarily in violation of international laws”.

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention made this demand after examining Mr Khan‘s case in which he was sentenced last year on charges of corruption.

Mr Khan has been slapped with multiple criminal cases since when he was ousted through a vote of no confidence in the parliament in 2022.

There was no immediate comment from the government of Shehbaz Sharif, who replaced Mr Khan after his ousting.

Mr Khan has been held in prison since August 2023 when he was sentenced to three years in prison for allegedly hiding assets after selling state gifts. It led to a ban on Mr Khan from seeking political office and contesting the 8 February election, which his party says were rigged.

The Election Commission of Pakistan has denied the allegation.

Additional reporting by agencies