international

Ousted Pakistan PM Sharif freed from jail on court orders

[su_label type=”info”]SMA News – Agencies [/su_label][su_spacer size=”10″] Pakistani authorities released former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter from jail on Wednesday after a court suspended prison sentences they got in July over the purchase of upscale apartments in London.
Supporters showered Sharif’s car with rose petals after he was freed from the jail in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, television footage showed. “The prisoners have been set free,” Ishaq Cheema, an official at Adyala jail, told Reuters.
Earlier in the day Islamabad High Court suspended the 10-year jail term of the three-time premier, who was once the favorite of Pakistan’s powerful generals but has since fallen out and clashed with the military.
The ruling comes almost two months after Sharif’s party lost a general election to the party of new Prime Minister Imran Khan. Sharif’s party and others allege the July 25 polls were rigged to favor Khan, who is seen to be close to the army.
The court also freed Sharif’s daughter and political heir Maryam, who was jailed for seven years on corruption charges relating to the family’s acquisition of the London flats.
“The prosecution has failed to show the properties belong to Nawaz Sharif,” Justice Athar Minallah told the court.
The convictions are still under appeal with the same court, but the judge said they should be freed immediately while the case continues.
“Justice has been served, and I congratulate Nawaz Sharif’s supporters,” former Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, a staunch Sharif ally, said outside the courtroom, where supporters chanted pro-Sharif slogans.

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