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Pakistan court rejects bail for ex-PM Nawaz Sharif

26 February 2019, 12:51:00

A Pakistani court has rejected the bail plea on medical grounds of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is currently serving a seven-year jail term for corruption. 

The Islamabad High Court said in its decision in the capital on Monday that Sharif could not be given bail on health grounds as he was already being treated at a hospital. 

Sharif, who was sentenced in December for being unable to prove the source of income for the ownership of a steel mill in Saudi Arabia in a string of court cases against him, made the request after multiple complaints of chest and other body pains.

He was recently admitted to a hospital in the eastern city of Lahore for treatment for a heart condition, with a government-appointed medical board assigned to ascertain his medical condition.

Sharif's lawyers argued that he was too frail to be kept in jail and was suffering from multiple problems related to the heart, kidney, hypertension and diabetes. 

"None of the reports [about Sharif's condition] suggest that continued incarceration of the petitioner, in any way, would be detrimental to his life," the judges ruled on Monday.

The former prime minister is "receiving the best possible medical treatment available to any individual in Pakistan," the court order added. 

Khawaja Asif, a former foreign minister and leader of Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party, said an appeal would be filed in the Supreme Court against the rejection.

"We don't agree with the decision but will accept it out of respect for the courts," he said. 


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