Death sentence 'lifted on Briton'

A British man sentenced to death by hanging in Pakistan has had his punishment commuted to a life sentence, Pakistani government officials says.

Death sentence 'lifted on Briton'

The move follows intervention in the case of Mirza Tahir Hussain, 36 and of Leeds, by President Pervez Musharraf.

Hussain, who was convicted in 1989 of murdering taxi driver Jamshed Khan, could now be eligible for release.

He has always maintained he had been acting in self defence after being sexually assaulted.

The BBC's Barbara Plett in Islamabad said no further details were immediately available about where he would serve the sentence or whether he might be freed at some point.

Human rights groups such as Amnesty International, along with both UK and Euro MPs, had previously demanded that Hussain be pardoned.

The request for his life to be spared was reportedly made by Prince Charles, who recently toured Pakistan.

Hussain's brother Amjad said his family would react to the news later on Thursday morning.

He said they had not yet been given official confirmation from President Musharraf's office, but expected to receive it around 1030 GMT.

He said: "The decision has not been officially confirmed...but if it is we are relieved, happy and are thankful to President Musharraf."

Humanitarian pleas

Prime Minister Tony Blair previously said he had raised the matter personally with Mr Musharraf during the president's visit to the UK.

The news comes ahead of Mr Blair's own impending visit to Pakistan.

Hussain's hanging was due to take place during the five-day royal trip by the prince and the Duchess of Cornwall in October, but it was initially delayed until 31 December after the prince wrote to Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz about the case.

He had been cleared by a high court in 1996 but an Islamic Sharia court took the case over and imposed the death penalty.

The sentence could have been revoked if Khan's family had accepted an offer of blood money, but they refused.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16