A lawyer for Kuwaiti opposition leader Musallam al-Barrack says the country's top court has released the activist on bail ahead of a final decision on charges he insulted the country's ruler.

Lawyer Thamer al-Jedaei told The Associated Press on Monday that he is hopeful the Supreme Court will rule in his client's favor in its next hearing on May 18.

Al-Barrack originally was sentenced to five years in prison by a lower court, but the appeals court overturned that verdict and issued a shorter two-year sentence in February.

Al-Barrack's charges stem from a speech he gave during a rally in 2012. He called on Kuwait's ruler, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah, not to "drag the country into a dark abyss," and said Kuwait risked becoming an autocratic state.