Pakistan

Mumtaz Qadri appeals against death sentence

ISLAMABAD: Mumtaz Qadri – a former police  bodyguard – who murdered then governor of Punjab Salman Taseer in 2011, appealed to the Supreme Court against his death sentence on Monday, ARY News has learnt.

According to AFP, Rao Abdul Rahim, a member of the legal team defending Qadri, said they have appealed to the Supreme Court to have the sentence commuted.

“We have appealed that it was not an intentional murder and was a sudden act after provocation, so the Supreme Court should acquit him,” Rahim told AFP.

Another defence lawyer, Muhammad Latif Khawaja, confirmed the appeal.

“He killed Taseer in sudden provocation and there are precedents in which the courts have reduced punishments or acquitted the accused because of this element,” he said.

Islamabad High Court (IHC) last month upheld the death sentence for Mumtaz Qadri.

Qadri shot Taseer 28 times and admitted the killing, saying he objected to the politician’s calls to reform blasphemy laws, which can carry the death penalty.

In high court hearings, Qadri’s lawyers drew on Islamic texts to argue that he was justified in killing Taseer, saying that by criticising the blasphemy law the politician was himself guilty of blasphemy.

The court rejected their case, saying that “from whatever angles it is considered, neither the Islamic law nor the law of the land gives any justification to the act of the accused”.

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