Mumtaz Qadri’s counsel to file mercy appeal before President

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Justice (retd) Mian Nazir Akhtar, counsel for Mumtaz Qadri on Friday said that he would file mercy petition before the President in next few days after the completion of legal requirements.

“I will file mercy plea before the President on behalf of Mumtaz Qadri’s father Malik Muhammad Bashir Awan”, Nazir Akhtar said while talking to media.

He, however, said the President under the Constitution had the authority to pardon a convict or minimize his/her sentence.

Nazir Akhtar said that he will highlight specific legal points, or some lacunae in the mercy petition for his client Mumtaz Qadri.

On December 14, the three-member bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, rejected a petition seeking a review of its October 7 restoration of death sentence awarded by an anti-terrorism court to Qadri, an Elite Force commando who had assassinated on January 4, 2011, the then Governor of Punjab Salman Taseer on pretext of blasphemy.

While rejecting the review petition the apex court also dismissed the convict’s request for a larger bench with an observation that Qadri had confessed to have carried out the assassination at all stages of the case and had been arrested from the crime scene.

The convict had assassinated Salman Taseer outside his residence in Islamabad.

Later, the apex court in its detailed judgment of October 27 held that the issue involved in this case is not as to whether anybody is allowed to commit blasphemy by defiling the sacred name but the real question involved is whether a person is justified in killing another person on his own on the basis of an unverified impression or an un-established perception that the other person has committed blasphemy.

Source: APP