ISLAMABAD -- A government minister investigating the case of a Pakistani Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy against Islam says he believes she is innocent.

Minister for Minority Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti said Monday he is confident Pakistan's president will pardon Asia Bibi because she was falsely accused.

[On Monday, Christian Today reported that Bibi was freed not long after Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari pardoned her in the face of growing international pressure. could not immediately confirm that report.]

The 45-year-old was sentenced Nov. 8 to hang for insulting the Prophet Muhammad.

The mother of five has spent 1 1/2 years in prison.

Bibi says the case is the result of a personal dispute with some Muslim women over whether they could share the same water bowl.

President Zardari has asked Bhatti to submit a review of the case

Last week Pope Benedict XVI appealed for Bibi's release.