Three leaders — an incumbent president, a former head of state, and an ex-prime minister — are currently facing arrest, and issues surrounding their cases have flooded social media and news outlets.
Former US president Donald Trump was added to the list on Saturday, when he revealed in a blog that he expects to be arrested on March 21.
In Pakistan, clashes between the police and Imran Khan’s supporters erupted again on Saturday as the former prime minister made his way to Islamabad to appear in court. Russian President Vladimir Putin, on the other hand, has been issued an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court (ICC).
What are the cases against these three leaders that could land them behind bars? Here are the details:
1. Imran Khan, Pakistan
The former prime minister of the South Asian country — who was ousted in a no-confidence vote in Parliament last April — has been accused of selling state gifts while in office and concealing assets, charges he denies. It’s one in a string of cases that the former cricket star turned Islamist politician has been facing since his ouster.
According to the case details, Khan reportedly bought gifts at throwaway rates from the state depository called Toshakhana and then sold them for profit.
2. Donald Trump, US
Citing illegal leaks from the Manhattan district attorney’s office, Trump claimed that he would be arrested next week over a case on hush money paid to women who allegedly had sexual encounters with the former president.
The grand jury in Manhattan has been hearing from witnesses, including former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who says he orchestrated payments in 2016 to two women to silence them about sexual encounters they said they had with Trump a decade earlier.
Cohen has said that at Trump’s direction, he arranged payments totaling $280,000 to porn actor Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal. According to Cohen, the payouts were to buy their silence about Trump, who was then in the thick of his first presidential campaign.
Trump denies the encounters occurred, says he did nothing wrong and has cast the investigation as a “witch hunt” by a Democratic prosecutor bent on sabotaging the Republican’s 2024 presidential campaign.
3. Vladimir Putin, Russia
In its first warrant for Ukraine, the ICC called for Putin’s arrest on suspicion of unlawful deportation of children and unlawful transfer of people from the territory of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.
“The crimes were allegedly committed in Ukrainian-occupied territory at least from 24 February 2022. There are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr Putin bears individual criminal responsibility for the aforementioned crimes,” it said.
Putin is the third serving president to be the target of an ICC arrest warrant, after Sudan’s Omar Al Bashir and Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi.
Moscow has repeatedly denied accusations that its forces have committed atrocities during its one-year attack on its neighbour and the Kremlin branded the court decision as “null and void” with respect to Russia.
- Putin's ICC arrest warrant: 7 other high-profile targets for 'world's worst crimes'
- Pakistan's Imran Khan forms committee to lead party if arrested
- Donald Trump claims he will be arrested on Tuesday
- ICC issues arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin