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LHC accepts appeal of Zainab’s murderer against capital punishment

LAHORE: A two-judge bench of the Lahore High Court on Monday admitted for hearing an appeal of convict Imran Ali in the rape and murder case of Kasur’s little Zainab. 

The bench, comprising Justice Sadaqat Ali Khan and Justice Shehram Sarwar Chaudhry, took up the appeal today. The victim girl’s father, Muhammad Amin, attended the hearing.

Advocate Asad Jamal, representing the convict, pleaded the judges to give him three weeks’ time to prepare arguments in the case.

To which, the bench asked the counsel to come prepared on next hearing and adjourned the hearing till Tuesday.

In his appeal, the counsel contended that his client confessed to having committed the crime in order to save court’s time.

In developed countries, he added, courts take lenient approach toward those criminals who make confessional statements.

But, an anti-terrorism court, which handed down four death penalties to Imran, didn’t took this fact into consideration, the lawyer argued.

He requested the high court to curtail his client’s punishment keeping in view his confessional statement.

Zainab, who went missing on January 4 from Kasur’s Kot Road area, was found raped, dead and buried in a trash heap in Kasur on January 9.

The horrific incident triggered widespread outrage and protests across the country with people calling for public execution of the culprit.

On Feb 17 , an anti-terrorism court of Lahore awarded four death penalties to the prime suspect, Imran Ali, for raping and murdering the minor in Kasur.

He was also sentenced to life imprisonment and a separate 7-year jail term. The court also asked him to pay a collective fine of Rs 3.1 million.

The court conducted the swiftest trial in Pakistan’s judicial history at Kot Lakhpat Jail and concluded proceedings within four days.

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