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Pakistan court orders release of former PM Nawaz Sharif on bail - lawyer

Dozens of jubilant supporters chanted 'Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif!' outside the court after the decision was announced. Sharif was arrested on his return to the country in July this year.

Ousted Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif leaves after a press conference on his appearance in front of an accountability court to face corruption charges, in Islamabad on 26 September 2017. Picture: AFP

ISLAMABAD - A Pakistani court on Wednesday ordered the release of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter, suspending their prison sentences pending an appeal hearing, his lawyer said.

"Today, the Islamabad High Court has suspended the verdict against Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and his son-in-law Captain Safdar and ordered to release them on bail until a final decision," Khawaja Haris, Sharif's lawyer, told AFP.

Dozens of jubilant supporters chanted "Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif!" outside the court after the decision was announced.

Sharif was arrested on his return to the country in July this year.

An anti-corruption court that month sentenced them to 10 and seven years respectively over properties they allegedly owned in Britain, following revelations in the Panama Papers.

"Today the court has suspended the decision that was based on revenge," former minister Ahsan Iqbal told reporters.

"This trial is important because even a blind person in Pakistan will see that there was neither law nor constitution in the decision and it was just pre-poll rigging to pave the way for Imran Khan to win elections," he said.