Pakistan

Shahbaz Bhatti murder case moved to military court

ISLAMABAD: The capital city police said on Thursday it had conveyed to the authorities concerned to transfer the murder case of former minority minister to the military court, ARY News reported.

Catholic Shahbaz Bhatti was gunned down in Islamabad in March 2011 after he had demanded amendments into the Blasphemy Law.

The murder trial has, however, been hampered by threats from some elements. Police are of the view that hearing of the case in a military court will speed up the process and reduce interference from radicals.

“We have sent an official request to the Interior ministry to carry out the murder trial of Shahbaz Bhatti in a military court,” a police official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Another police official confirmed the move, adding that the police have been directed to send all terror-related cases to military courts.

Interior Ministry will now have to give approval before the case can be transferred.

Paul Bhatti, brother of the former minority minister, was forced to flee the country last year after he was given life threats from extremists from pursuing the case.

The All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA) said threatening pamphlets were also found in the office of a key witness.

Pakistan said it would set up new military courts to try terror-related cases after Taliban gunmen killed 150 people at army-run school last month in the country’s deadliest ever militant attack. -AFP

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