Former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan is to be released on bail for two weeks following a decision from the Islamabad High Court.
Pakistan’s former prime minister was back in court following his arrest on Tuesday on corruption charges, which sparked countrywide violence that left at least 10 people dead and dozens injured.
The country’s Supreme Court ruled on Thursday the arrest was unlawful and ordered his release from custody, although Mr Khan spent the night as a police guest for his own protection.
It then asked the Islamabad High Court – a lower court – to reconsider its initial decision to uphold the arrest.
The supreme court said it would respect Friday’s ruling.
“They had no justification to arrest me. I was abducted. It seems as if there was a law of jungle,” Mr Khan told The Independent.
Prime minister Shahbaz Sharif criticised the Supreme Court ruling on Friday, saying there was a “genuine corruption case” against Mr Khan, “but the judiciary has become a stone wall protecting him.”
Mr Khan remained in the court after the decision as his lawyers petitioned judges for similar protection in a number of other corruption charges, trying to close off a legal avenue for the government to arrest him again.
The popular 70-year-old opposition leader was arrested earlier this week by the National Accountability Bureau in connection with corruption charges.
Imran Khan released from custody after Pakistan court rules arrest illegal
Former prime minister of Pakistan Imran Khan is arrested in Islamabad – video
Pakistan’s information minister defends arrest of Imran Khan
Pakistan’s information minister, Marriyum Aurangzeb, defended the former professional cricketer’s arrest.
She told Sky News: “A person who has defied court, who does not abide by the law, who avoid courts and who thinks he’s untouchable and cannot be questioned, has to be treated the way every citizen is treated.”
She rejected claims that there were political motives behind the arrest, as Mr Khan surfs a wave of popularity following an assassination attempt.
“If we wanted to arrest him or silence him because of his popularity, we would not have waited 14 months,” she said.