World Bulletin/News Desk
A Pakistani high court on Monday acquitted four militants, who were sentenced to death for their suspected involvement in a suicide attack on a Shiite mosque in 2002, for lack of evidence.
The anti-terrorist court originally found the four militants guilty of belonging to the banned sectarian group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi in 2004 and for masterminding the attack on a Shiite mosque in the garrison city of Rawalpindi that left 19 people dead and 35 others injured.
Their appeal against the anti-terrorist court's verdict, which has been pending for the past decade, was accepted by a two-member bench of the Lahore High Court.
The judges declared that the prosecution had failed to prove its case against the defendants.
Pakistan ended a six-year long moratorium on capital punishment following the brutal mass shooting in an army-run school in Peshawar on Dec. 16 that killed 144 people, mostly children.
So far, seven condemned Taliban militants have been executed in the last three weeks despite global criticism.
All the executed militants were involved in attacks on the army.
Six out of the seven executed militants were involved in the failed assassination attempt on General Musharraf in 2003 in Rawalpindi.
The seventh was involved in a brazen attack on the Pakistan army’s headquarters, also in Rawalpindi, in 2009.
Pakistan had imposed a de facto ban on capital punishment in 2008 following pressure from the European Union, reportedly in exchange for trade and export relaxations.
Human rights groups and the EU have condemned the lifting of the ban on capital punishment, saying it would not add to the government’s efforts to eliminate terrorism.
Last Mod: 05 Ocak 2015, 12:23