ISLAMABAD (Reuters) -A Pakistani court took up jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan's appeal against conviction on corruption charges on Wednesday, but there was no immediate suggestion of his possible release on bail, his lawyer said.
Khan, 70, has been at the heart of political turmoil since he was ousted as prime minister in a vote of no-confidence last year, raising concern about Pakistan's stability as it grapples with an economic crisis.
He has been barred from holding any public office for five years after he began a three-year sentence on Saturday on charges of unlawfully selling state gifts acquired by him and his family during his 2018-2022 tenure.
"Imran Khan will be freed if his case is heard on merit," his lawyer, Naeem Panjutha, said ahead before the court took up the appeal.
Panjutha said the court had issued notices to concerned authorities to respond, but did not fix a date for the next hearing.
Khan, who has denied any wrongdoing, was arrested at his Lahore house and is currently in a prison near Islamabad.
(Reporting by Asif Shahzad, Editing by William Maclean, Raju Gopalakrishnan and Nick Macfie)