Jailed Indian politician freed on bail

Ex-chief minister of southern state Tamil Nadu, released 22 days into four-year corruption sentence due to poor health.

    Jailed Indian politician freed on bail
    Jayalalitha was freed on medical grounds [AP]

    The former chief minister of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu has been released on bail on medical grounds, 22 days after being sentenced to four years in jail in a corruption case.

    Jayaram Jayalalitha walked out of a prison in Bangalore on Saturday.

    The actress-turned-politician was forced to step down as the highest elected official of Tamil Nadu after a court found her guilty last month of possessing wealth disproportionate to her income in a case that was first filed 18 years ago.

    The Supreme Court allowed her release on Friday after she argued she needed medical attention for diabetes and high blood pressure.

    It said it would cancel bail unless she provided all documents related to the corruption case by December 18.

    She has asked a lower court to suspend her sentence while she appeals against her conviction.

    Prosecutors said her assets, which reportedly included two 1,000-acre estates in her home-state of Tamil Nadu, were vastly disproportionate to her earnings during her first term as chief minister between 1991 to 1996.

    Subramanian Swamy, the leader of rival BJP and the main complainant in the case, said Jayalalitha had amassed 66 crore rupees in that time - the equivalent of $10m - despite claiming a salary of one rupee a year, equivalent to one cent.

    "How is that possible? I think it's very difficult for her to escape it because the facts are very clear," he said before Jayalalitha was convicted.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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