Former Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif and daughter Maryam freed from jail

Former Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif and daughter Maryam freed from jail

Deposed Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law were released from prison on Wednesday evening, hours after the Islamabad high court suspended their sentences in a major corruption case that jeopardised their political career.

The court said precedents of the Supreme Court "bound the NAB to follow certain procedures" in order to shift the burden of proof on accused persons, the report.

This is also the reason why the Islamabad High Court's Justice Athar Minallah, who suspended the sentence, said that NAB failed to prove a direct link between Nawaz and the ownership of the Avenfield properties.

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.

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Dozens of jubilant supporters chanted "Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif!" outside the court after the decision was announced. The Sharif family's lawyers will now have to establish that their clients had been initially sentenced on invalid grounds to substantiate this interim relief.

Sharif had been sentenced to 10 years in jail and a $10.5m fine, his daughter Maryam to a seven-year jail sentence and a $2.6m fine, and Maryam's husband Safdar to a year in prison.

"After it came to light that the Sharif family had purchased several lavish apartments in London through offshore companies, Pakistan's Supreme Court found that the disgraced prime minister had failed to properly disclose his financial assets - several of which were "disproportionate to his means of income" - and disqualified him from office".

"It was written in the accountability court verdict that Nawaz had not been involved in corruption", the opposition leader noted, saying that soon Nawaz would be among them.

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File image of Nawaz Sharif.

"Their supporters should not celebrate so much as they will likely have to go again to Adiala prison", Faisal said.

"Today the court has suspended the decision that was based on revenge", former minister Ahsan Iqbal told reporters. Sharif's party and others allege the July 25 polls were rigged to favor Khan, seen to be close to the army. His first government was dismissed by the then-President Ghulam Ishaq Khan in 1993 on corruption charges and his second government was toppled by Gen. Pervez Musharraf in a bloodless coup in October 1999.

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