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Pakistan

AFP
January 29, 2019

Supreme Court to rule on call for appeal against Asia Bibi

Pakistan

AFP
Tue, Jan 29, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The fate of a Christian woman enmeshed in a years-long blasphemy row could finally be decided Tuesday, when Supreme Court will decide whether to allow an appeal against its decision to acquit Asia Bibi.

Judges -- including new chief justice -- are expected to toss out the petition against their decision last October to free Bibi from death row, where she languished for eight years.

If judges toss out the petition   against their decision last October to free Bibi from death row, where she languished for eight years,, it could lift the last legal hurdle between her and a possible deal for asylum abroad.

Bibi was sentenced to death in 2010 in what swiftly became Pakistan´s most infamous blasphemy case.

The Supreme Court overturned her conviction last year, but she remains in protective custody.

On Tuesday, "the court will determine if our appeal against her acquittal is admitted" said Ghulam Mustafa Chaudhry, the lawyer who filed the petition on behalf of a cleric.

Petition reviews are usually settled on the same day they are heard by the court. Experts say it would be highly unusual for the court to allow an appeal against its own ruling.

The three-member bench hearing the petition will be headed by new Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa -- considered the country´s top expert in criminal law -- who helped draft the decision to acquit Bibi.