Pakistan court releases former PM Sharif on bail
LAHORE, Pakistan, Oct 25, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – A Pakistani court on Friday bailed former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif indefinitely on medical grounds, court officials said, days after he was taken to hospital from prison where he is serving seven years for corruption.
The Lahore High Court granted Sharif — who was PM three times before he was ousted over corruption allegations in 2017 — bail at 10 million Pakistani rupees ($63,900) on medical grounds “for an indefinite period”, a court official told AFP.
A second court official said the ruling had come after doctors confirmed Sharif was suffering from an autoimmune blood disorder requiring immediate medical attention.
It was not immediately clear where Sharif would receive treatment or how severe his condition is.
The 69-year-old was taken to hospital on Tuesday when his blood platelet count dropped to dangerous levels, local media reported.
The Supreme Court disqualified Sharif from politics for life over graft allegations in 2017, and he later received a seven-year jail sentence.
He denies all the corruption charges against him and claims he is being targeted by the country’s powerful security establishment.
Corruption is widely entrenched in Pakistan, with politicians regularly accused of misusing or stealing public funds and whisking the money out of the country.
Sharif’s arch-rival Imran Khan took power in 2018, and has launched a high-profile and controversial anti-corruption drive.