Malala Yousafzai Nobel Peace Prize
Malala Yousafzai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for campaigning for children's rights Reuters

Eight of the 10 people who were jailed for the attempted murder of education campaigner Malala Yousafzai have been secretly released from prison following reports of a "sham" trial.

A Pakistani court was said to have sentenced 10 Taliban members to life for shooting the then 14-year-old Malala in the head in the Swat Valley after she spoke out against the regime and oppression of women.

However, the Daily Mirror reports that eight of these men have now been freed "quietly, to avoid a media fuss".

An unnamed security source added: "The trial had ­absolutely no credibility as nobody was there to witness it but a public prosecutor, a judge, the army and the accused.

"This was a tactic to get the media ­pressure away from the Malala case because the whole world wanted ­convictions for the crime.

"But the truth is that, whether these acquitted men were involved or not in the Malala shooting, the public has been lied to.

"Ten men are not behind bars for the crime, as the Pakistani authorities would have us believe. That is a big lie."

Azaad Khan, the police chief of Swat Valley where Malala was shot in October 2012, and the Pakistan High Commission in London also confirmed only two men are still in jail over the attempted assassination which shook the world.

The High Commission said the other eight were released because there was "not adequate evidence".

"The claims of 10 being imprisoned were due to a misunderstanding and it being misreported at the time," a spokesperson added.

Several other people, including the Pakistani Taliban leader Mullah Fazlullah, are still wanted in connection with the shooting.

Malala was transferred to a Birmingham hospital to recover from her injuries following the attack.

Since the shooting, Malala, now 17, has campaigned as a children and education rights spokesperson and became the youngest ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.