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A Pakistani court has sentenced opposition leader Imran Khan to three years in jail over corruption allegations, according to officials from the former prime minister’s party.

Khan was taken into custody from his Lahore home on Saturday following the ruling by a lower court in Islamabad, the officials said. They added that he plans to appeal against the sentence and seek bail.

The conviction of Khan, who is widely considered to be the country’s most popular politician, comes only months before national elections and threatens to remove him from the running.

It follows months of tension between Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf party and prime minister Shehbaz Sharif’s government together with the country’s powerful military, whom Khan has repeatedly criticised. 

The sentence relates to allegations that Khan illegally sold gifts received while serving as prime minister from 2018 to 2022. Khan denies wrongdoing, calling the case a politically motivated attempt to prevent him returning to power.

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