A Pakistani high court has turned down an appeal by jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan to suspend his conviction on corruption charges, according to his lawyer.
Based on the move, it appears unlikely that the 70-year-old will be granted bail soon.
Since his ousted as prime minister in a no-confidence vote last year, Imran Khan has been at the centre of political unrest, raising questions about Pakistan’s stability as it struggles with an economic crisis.
It occurs as Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif, prepares to suggest to the country’s president to dissolve parliament to allow for a general election by November.
Khan was sentenced to three years in prison and a five-year ban from holding public office for selling official goods unlawfully on Saturday in a prison close to Islamabad. He has said he did nothing wrong.
The five-year term of the parliament is set to end on August 12; nevertheless, this move will dissolve it three days earlier.
In response to Khan’s request to be transferred to an A-class jail cell in a Rawalpindi prison, which offers better amenities to which he is entitled as a former prime minister, the court summoned the relevant authorities to react, according to his lawyer Naeem Panjutha.
According to Panjutha, the case was adjourned indefinitely and “our request to suspend the conviction was not accepted.” Later on in the day, the court will issue a written order.
Khan, who denied wrongdoing, was taken into custody at his home in Lahore and is presently held in a prison close to Islamabad.