An Afghan man who has been charged with converting from Islam to Christianity is to be freed while his case is reviewed.

Earlier today, a judge in Kabul dismissed the prosecution because of doubts over his mental state.

Officials say the man, Abdul Rahman, will be released from custody soon.

The case was brought under Islamic Sharia law, which forbids the rejection of Islam.

Mr Rahman, who is being held in a maximum security jail on the outskirts of Kabul, converted 16 years ago in Pakistan and spent many years in Germany before returning to Afghanistan around 2002.

His case has provoked a storm of protest from many of the Western nations providing Afghanistan with military and financial support vital to battling an insurgency led by remnants of the former Taliban regime and rebuilding after years of war.

They have called on Afghanistan to honour its constitutional obligations to uphold human rights.