Mashal Khan lynching: PHC suspends conviction of 25 suspects, orders release
ABBOTTABAD: The Peshawar High Court circuit bench in Abbottabad on Tuesday suspended the conviction of 25 suspects in the Mashal Khan lynching case, ARY News reported.
A two-judge bench gave this order on appeals filed by the suspects who were awarded three years of jail term in the case by an anti-terrorism court.
The bench also ordered their release on bail.
Mashal, 23, a student at Abdul Wali Khan University (AWKU) in Mardan, was beaten and shot to death on April 13 by an unruly mob instigated by rumours that he had committed blasphemy by posting sacrilegious content online.
On February 07, the ATC sentenced the prime suspect to death while five others to 25 years’ imprisonment in the case.
ATC Judge Fazal-i-Subhan Khan acquitted 26 suspects and awarded threes years of jail term to 25 other accused in the case.
Convict Imran, who has been awarded capital punishment, was found guilty of firing shots at the victim student from his pistol, which led to his death.
He had also confessed to the crime before the court.
The court had reserved the verdict on January 30 after prosecution and defence sides concluded their arguments in the case.
Nearly 50 prosecution witnesses testified against the suspects during the course of the hearing conducted inside Haripur Central Jail.
The prosecution charged 61 people in the case, while 57 of them were arrested and produced before the court for trial. Still four accused of the incident said to be at large.