Home Latest News Islamabad Court Upholds Death Sentence for Mumtaz Qadri

Islamabad Court Upholds Death Sentence for Mumtaz Qadri

by AFP and Newsweek Pakistan
Aamir Qureshi—AFP

File Photo. Aamir Qureshi—AFP

Two-member panel dismissed Qadri’s mercy plea a week after withholding judgment.

The Islamabad High Court on Monday upheld the death sentence for Mumtaz Qadri, the former police bodyguard who murdered then-Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer over advocating reforms for blasphemy laws.

The court dismissed an appeal against the sentence by Qadri, who shot dead Taseer outside an upmarket coffee shop in Islamabad in 2011. Qadri confessed to shooting Taseer, saying he objected to the politician’s calls to reform strict blasphemy laws, which can carry the death penalty.

Judges Noor-ul-Haq Qureshi and Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui dismissed the appeal, according to Mian Nazir, a former judge who is representing Qadri in court.

Three of Taseer’s children—Sara Taseer, Shaan Taseer and Sanam Taseer—had submitted an application in court last week, requesting Qadri’s mercy plea be rejected. The accused is “a traitor of the country” and does not deserve any mercy, their plea added.

Blasphemy is a hugely sensitive issue in Pakistan. Many conservatives, including lawyers and former judges, have hailed Qadri as a hero for “protecting” the blasphemy laws. At his original trial, a large crowd of lawyers showered Qadri with rose petals. In addition to Mian Nazir, his current appeal team also features a former chief justice of the Lahore High Court.

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1 comment

Imran Ahmed March 11, 2015 - 2:20 pm

The murderers original conviction was overturned and a re-trial under PPC ordered on a point not contested before the appellate court. The first trial judge managed to retain his integrity even though he had to flee, will the second one be as fortunate? I just hope this is not a prelude to introducing Qisas and letting wicked men benefit from abduction of the younger Taseer. This could lead to yet another travesty as was the case with Raymond Davis and Shahzeb Jatoi.

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