Supreme Court stays execution of two terrorists convicted by military courts

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ISLAMABAD (Web Desk) – The Supreme Court on Monday ordered a stay of execution of two terrorists convicted by military courts,

A two member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Gulzar Ahmed heard appeals of convicted terrorists, Haider Ali and Qari Zahir Gul.

Counsel of the convicts, Advocate Asma Jahangir informed court that Haider Ali and Zahir Gul were arrested four years ago from Swat valley under The Actions (in Aid of Civil Power) Regulation whereas the military courts were established through 21st Amendment in January 2015. Thus, decisions of military courts cannot be implemented on past crimes.

She further argued that trial of convicts by the military courts was unjust. Neither copies of verdict were given nor were they allowed to hire lawyers of their choice.

After hearing the arguments, the apex court suspended death sentences of both convicts and forwarded the matter to the Chief Justice for formation of larger bench to hear the case.

The court also summoned record of military courts’ verdict and adjourned the case hearing till December 16.

It may be mentioned here that a division bench of Peshawar High Court on October 15 had upheld the death sentences handed by the military court to two terrorists and dismissed their appeals to reverse the verdict.

Pakistan has executed nearly 300 people since the death penalty was controversially reinstated following a Taliban mass killing at a school in Peshawar last December, according to Amnesty International.

The military courts were established as part of a crackdown on militancy following the massacre at the Peshawar school on December 16 last year. Parliament has approved the use of the courts for the coming two years, and cases are referred to them by provincial governments.

But some have called for the trials to be more transparent.

2015-12-07

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