A supporter of former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif holds his picture and makes a victory sign after a court ruling, outside the Islamabad High Court in Islamabad, Pakistan, Sept. 19, 2018.
A supporter of former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif holds his picture and makes a victory sign after a court ruling, outside the Islamabad High Court in Islamabad, Pakistan, Sept. 19, 2018.

ISLAMABAD - A high court in Pakistan has ordered the release of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam, and son-in-law Mohammad Safdar, suspending the sentences handed to them for corruption. 

In July, a special anti-corruption tribunal found the three guilty of owning foreign assets worth beyond their known sources of income.The so-called accountability court sentenced Nawaz Sharif, Maryam and Safdar to jail terms of 10 years, seven years and one year respectively.The convictions were appealed to the Islamabad High Court. 

Ousted Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif sits
FILE - Ousted Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif sits on a plane after landing at the Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore, Pakistan, July 13, 2018.

On Wednesday, a three-member panel of judges ruled the sentences “shall remain suspended until the final adjudication of the appeal.”

Sharif was released, along with the other members of his family late Wednesday and were greeted by party leaders and workers outside the prison.

The Sharifs had been in prison in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, which borders the national capital of Islamabad. 

The former prime minister and his Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) party reject the corruption charges against him as politically motivated and allegedly designed to keep the former prime minister out of the July 25 elections.Sharif and his party leaders accused the powerful military of orchestrating the judicial proceedings.

The Pakistani judiciary and the army each have rejected Sharif's allegations as unfounded. 

People attend funeral of Kulsoom Nawaz, wife of Pa
People attend funeral of Kulsoom Nawaz, wife of Pakistani jailed former minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif in Lahore, Pakistan, Sept. 14, 2018.

Just hours after the high court announced its verdict Wednesday, the anti-corruption National Accountability Bureau (NAB) said it will file an appeal in the Supreme Court against the suspension of Sharifs’s sentences. 

Speaking outside the court building in Islamabad, senior party leader and former interior minister Ahsan Iqbal congratulated Sharif’s supporters and repeated the allegations. 

“These cases (against Sharif) have no constitutional and legal basis.They were based on vendetta and pre-poll rigging to keep Nawaz Sharif out of the elections,” Iqbal asserted. 

Supporters of Pakistan's jailed ex-Prime Minister
FILE - Supporters of Pakistan's jailed ex-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif gather outside the Adiala jail where he is being held, in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, July 19, 2018.

The PML-N party lost the parliamentary election to its main rival, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party. 

Khan’s government briefly released Sharif on parole earlier this month to allow him to attend the funeral of his wife, Kulsoom Nawaz, who died of cancer in a London hospital. 

Sharif’s party won the 2013 parliamentary elections, enabling him to become the prime minister of Pakistan for a historic third time.But the Supreme Court removed him from office in July, 2017, for concealing assets and ordered him to go to trial in an anti-corruption court.Prosecutors maintained Sharif failed to disclose a salary that he was receiving from a foreign-based company owned by one of his sons.

Child Marriage