PHC reduces death sentence to life term in Mashal Khan murder case
Orders to arrest those who were released after anti-terrorism court verdict
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The Peshawar High Court on Thursday overturned the death penalty awarded to the main accused in the Mashal Khan murder case, reducing the punishment to life imprisonment, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
A Peshawar High Court bench headed by Justice Lal Jan Khattak, in its verdict, also ordered to again arrest those who were earlier released after an anti-terrorism court announced the judgment and dismissed all the other appeals.
Earlier on September 30, the court had reserved the judgment after hearing the arguments of different parties.
Mashal Khan’s father – Iqbal Khan – and the government as well the convicts had challenged the anti-terrorism court’s March 2019 decision under which Imran Ali got the death sentence while seven others were to serve a life term in prison.
With a total of 61 persons nominated in the case, the anti-terrorism court also awarded three-year imprisonment to 25 others but had acquitted 28 accused, citing lack of evidence against them.
The brutal murder took place on April 13, 2017 at Abdul Wali Khan University in Mardan where he was first tortured and later shot dead over the blasphemy accusation.
On the day of murder, rumours spread that Mashal Khan, 25, had posted blasphemous material online after which hundreds of students and some university staff members marched through the campus searching for him.