Pakistan’s Supreme Court Tuesday granted bail to the jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif for six weeks on medical grounds. The 69-year-old reportedly has a heart condition and kidney problems.
A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa in a short order granted bail to Sharif for his treatment. But the court however ruled that he cannot go out of the country during this period.
Sharif is serving a seven-year term imposed last year for investments beyond his declared assets. He is lodged in the Kot Lakhpat jail in Lahore since December last year, serving imprisonment in the Al Azizia Steel Mills graft case. He denies any wrongdoing and has appealed accusing the military and the courts of conspiring to end his political career and destabilise his Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party.
He filed appeal earlier this month against a judgment by the Islamabad High Court which on February 25 rejected his bail on medical grounds in the same case.
Three corruption cases – Avenfield properties, Flagship investment and Al-Azizia steel mills – were registered against the Sharif family by the anti-graft body in 2017 following a judgment by the Supreme Court that disqualified Sharif in the Panama Papers case in 2017.
In December, the accountability court convicted him in the Al-Azizia graft case, which is related to setting up steel mills in Saudi Arabia allegedly with corruption, but acquitted him in the Flagship corruption case.
Sharif was prime minister from 1990 to 1993, and again from 1997 until a bloodless coup in 1999. He was then elected for a third term in 2013, which was marred by upheavals and corruption allegations. The Supreme Court then removed him from office in July 2017, claiming he had failed to disclose part of a salary drawn from his son’s company.