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Court Orders Release Of Pakistan's Ailing Ex-President Zardari


Former Pakistani \president Asif Ali Zardari in June

A Pakistani court on December 11 ordered the release of former President Asif Ali Zardari on bail on medical grounds to allow him to seek medical treatment at a hospital of his choice in the country.

Zardari, the widower of the country's assassinated former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, was arrested in June by Pakistan's anti-graft body in a multimillion-dollar money-laundering case.

He was expected to be released later on December 11.

Shortly after the court order, Zardari's son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who heads the key opposition Pakistan People's Party, told reporters that once he recovers, his father will launch a campaign to oust Prime Minister Imran Khan's government.

Zardari, a lawmaker in the lower house of parliament, has been accused of having dozens of bogus bank accounts, a charge he denies, saying he was being politically victimized by Khan's government.

Khan came to power on a promise to fight corruption on all fronts.

Zardari became president in 2008, after Pakistan's former military dictator Pervez Musharraf was forced to resign. He served until 2013.

With reporting by AP and Reuters
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