A Bahraini defense lawyer says prominent human rights advocate Nabeel Rajab has been released from jail pending a court verdict against him over charges his Twitter messages insulted government institutions.

Lawyer Jalila al-Sayed told The Associated Press on Sunday that Rajab was released on bail and said a verdict will be issued on Jan. 20.

She says Rajab was charged with insulting the army and Ministry of Interior. He was detained last month after posting tweets accusing Bahrain's security institutions of being incubators for extremist ideology.

Rajab insists he was practicing his right to free speech. He previously served nearly two years in prison for his role in leading protests dominated by the country's Shiite majority against the Sunni monarchy that erupted in 2011.