In a major relief to Pakistani Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani, the High Court in Islamabad on Wednesday acquitted him of all corruption charges and set aside his conviction in two graft cases citing lack of evidence.
A division bench of the Islamabad High Court headed by Chief Justice Sardar Mohammad Aslam allowed Gilani's appeal and set aside his conviction by an anti-corruption court. It also acquitted Gilani and discharged his surety bond for bail.
Gilani was arrested in 2001 by the National Accountability Bureau, an anti-corruption agency set up by the regime of former President Pervez Musharraf, and spent nearly six years in prison after his conviction in two cases.
In its judgement, the court said none of the witnesses had admitted that Gilani had directed the appointment of any official for any gain or benefit during his tenure as Speaker of the National Assembly in 1993-96.
The court also said the prosecution had not "proved beyond reasonable doubt" the charge that Gilani had misused his authority.