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Pak: Taseer assassin appeals against death row

Press Trust of India
Oct 12, 2011 at 01:10pm IST

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Islamabad: The police guard sentenced to death for assassinating Governor Salmaan Taseer filed an appeal against the verdict in a Pakistani court on Thursday.

The appeal against the anti-terrorism court's verdict was filed in the Islamabad High Court by Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri's lawyer Shuja-ur-Rehman.

Anti-terror court Judge Pervez Ali Shah had convicted Qadri and given him two death sentences for two counts of murder and terrorism on October 1.

Pak: Taseer assassin appeals against death row

The death sentence triggered protests by hardline Islamic groups across Pakistan.

After hearing the verdict, Qadri had initially said that he would not file an appeal.

Qadri's appeal contained 11 points, including one in which his lawyer contended that the anti-terrorism court was not the "competent authority" to sentence him and, therefore, its ruling was "illegal".

Rehman further claimed the verdict was "illegal and baseless" and that the judge had announced his decision without listening to the defence's point of view.

Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Iqbal Hameed-ur-Rehman adjourned the case till October 11.

A divisional bench of the court will hear the case.

Qadri, a police guard who was part of Taseer's security detail, gunned down the outspoken politician outside a restaurant in Islamabad in January for criticising the country's controversial blasphemy law.

The death sentence triggered protests by hardline Islamic groups across the country.

A conglomerate of 40 groups, including the Jamaat-ud-Dawah, has called for a protest against the verdict on Friday.

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