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Pakistan Court Rejects Ex-Prime Minister Sharif's Bail Plea

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (file photo)
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (file photo)

ISLAMABAD -- A Pakistani court has rejected the bail plea from former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is currently serving a seven-year jail term for corruption, his party says.

The Islamabad High Court said in its February 25 ruling that Sharif couldn't be given bail on health grounds as he was already being treated at a hospital.

Khawaja Asif, a leader of Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party, said an appeal would be filed against the decision.

Former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi deemed the court ruling "disappointing," adding that a government medical board had called for urgent treatment.

However, Abbasi said that the PML-N would respect the court decision.

"We have always respected court decisions," he said. "We will take all necessary legal recourse."

Sharif is being treated for heart complications at a hospital in the eastern city of Lahore, and his lawyers have argued that the former leader was too frail to be kept in jail.

Sharif, a three-time prime minister, was removed from office in 2017 after the Supreme Court disqualified him from serving.

In December, an anticorruption court sentenced him to seven years in prison on a charge of possessing assets beyond his known sources of income, the latest conviction in a series of graft allegations against him.

In separate proceedings, Sharif was also sentenced to 10 years in prison in July over the purchase of luxury apartments in London. However, Sharif appealed that sentence and was released on bail in September.

The PML-N lost to Pakistan Tehrik-e Insaf (PTI), the party of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, the new prime minister, in a general election in July.

Sharif accused the military of backing the PTI party, an accusation rejected by Khan and the army.

With reporting by dpa, Reuters, and Dawn