Islamabad - Pakistan's jailed former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appealed his 10-year prison sentence on Monday, his party spokeswoman said, just days after returning to the country ahead of parliamentary elections later this month.
Violence has escalated in the run-up to the balloting, with horrific attacks over the weekend killing 153 people, including a provincial assembly candidate during an election rally in southwestern Baluchistan province.
Sharif was sentenced in absentia on July 6 over his family's purchases of luxury apartments in London. If the judge grants the appeal, Sharif could be released on bail, pending his retrial.
Maryam Aurangzeb, a spokeswoman for the ruling Pakistan Muslim League party, said the appeal was filed Monday with the Islamabad High Court. "Our lawyers are seeking to overturn of the verdict against Nawaz Sharif and his family on legal grounds," she said.
Sharif's daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Mohammad Safdar were also sentenced in the same trial, to seven years and one year, respectively. On Friday, Sharif and his daughter returned home from London, where Sharif's wife is critically ill in hospital, following a heart attack last month.