ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani court on Tuesday granted bail to former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi after months in detention on graft charges.
Abbasi, who served as the prime minister from August 2017 to May 2018, was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in July for allegedly violating rules and causing a loss to the national exchequer in the Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) case.
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) granted bail to Abbasi, 61, and ordered him to submit a surety bond of Rs10 million.
The court also heard separate bail application of former planning minister Ahsan Iqbal and also granted him bail.
The NAB is probing alleged corruption in the award of contract to import LNG from Qatar by Abbasi when he was minister for petroleum and natural resources in the Cabinet of former premier Nawaz Sharif.
The probe started in 2015 but made little progress.
Iqbal was accused of corruption in the construction of the Narowal Sports City as minister for planning in Sharif's government.
Accepting their pleas, the IHC bench of Chief Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Lubna Saleem Pervez ordered that they should be released on submission of surety bonds of Rs 10 million each.
Abbasi was arrested in July while Iqbal was arrested in December last year.
The court criticised the NAB during the hearing by saying that it was arresting people on flimsy grounds.
The NAB chairman, Javed Iqbal, held a meeting of the anti-corruption watchdog after the bail granted to the two leaders and decided to challenge the IHC verdict in the Supreme Court.