Pakistani Court Orders Former Prime Minister Sharif Freed on Bail


All three are likely to be released on bail on Wednesday.

The development is the latest twist in a series of scandals involving the former prime minister, beginning with his ouster from office a year ago, to several corruption cases and trials he still faces. Their convictions will stand, although their sentences have been suspended.

Geo TV and other broadcasters said the court suspended the 10-year sentence for Sharif and the seven-year term given to his daughter Maryam Nawaz over corrupt practices linked to his family's ownership of upscale London flats. They are expected to be released soon, after the formalities are completed, reports said.

Khan is making his first official overseas trip to Saudi Arabia, the country that gave Sharif shelter after the 1999 coup, where he is reportedly seeking financial help to stave off the likelihood of another International Monetary Fund bailout.

Sharif was temporarily released earlier this month to attend the funeral of his wife, Kulsoom Nawaz, who died at a London hospital after a long battle with cancer.

"I thought I would go straight to mother but she is no more", Khan quoted Nawaz as saying. Moreover, the workers showered rose petals on the convoy of Nawaz Sharif as it left the prison premises.

The ruling comes nearly two months after Sharif's party lost a general election to the party of new Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The convictions are still under appeal with the same Islamabad High Court, but the judge said they should be freed immediately while the case continues, Reuters reported.

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If not, we're not going to take a risk because he missed a lot of games and we have a lot of games to play. Don't worry for me - we need to be anxious for the real things.

"Following the decision on Sharif, his supporters rushed to the court in jubilation, chanting pro-Sharif slogans, waving banners and posters of the ex-premier".

"For the reasons to be recorded later on, the petition of Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Mohammad Safdar are allowed", said Justice Minallah. He faced several court cases at home and was later convicted of concealing assets overseas. The cases against the family stemmed from Panama Papers leak in April 2016.

In opposition, Khan was a vocal supporter of the legal cases that removed Sharif from office.

Reacting to Wednesday's decision, Sen.

However, analysts saw the decision as a definite boost for Sharif's party and supporters.

Upon reaching Lahore, PML-N leaders and hundreds of party workers gave a warm welcome to the three-times prime minister.

He was expelled from office in 1993 on suspicion of corruption.