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Nov 14, 6:49 AM EST

Pakistan cleric gets bail in model's murder case

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MULTAN, Pakistan (AP) -- A defense lawyer says a Pakistani court has granted bail to a Muslim cleric who was arrested for his alleged involvement in the 2016 murder of social media model Qandeel Baloch.

Khurram Babar said Judge Amir Khan on Tuesday ordered the release because police had implicated his client, Mufti Abdul Qawi, on unsubstantiated grounds. Qawi was arrested last month while fleeing the city.

Baloch was found strangled in her home in the city of Multan after posting racy pictures on Facebook of herself with the cleric.

Baloch's brother, Mohammed Wasim Azeem, has confessed to her murder and is facing trial. Baloch's father blamed Qawi for instigating his son to kill his sister.

Nearly 1,000 Pakistani women are killed by relatives each year in so-called "honor killings," for violating norms on love and marriage.

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