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March 23, 2016

PHC stays execution of another alleged terrorist

National

March 23, 2016

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Tuesday stayed execution of another alleged terrorist who had been awarded death sentence by a military court in a terrorism case.

A two-member bench comprising Chief Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel and Justice Muhammad Younas Thaheem suspended the death sentence and issued notice for submission record of the case before the next hearing.

Zor Muhammad, brother of the convict, Bakht-e-Ameer, son of Ameer Zareen, a resident of the Swat district, had filed the judicial review petition against the military court’s decision in the high court through his lawyer Asad Zeb Khan.

The bench asked Deputy Attorney General Musarratullah Khan, representing the federal government, to receive the notice on behalf of defence and interior ministries.

On Monday, a division bench comprising Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth and Justice Irshad Qaiser had suspended the death sentence of Fazle Ghaffar, son of Shehzada and a resident of Swat, till April 5 when the next hearing of the judicial review petition against the conviction would take place.

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Media Wing of the Pakistan Army, on March 15 made public the convictions of 13 persons, including the convict in question, and the confirmation of their sentences by the army chief.

About Bakht-e-Ameer, son of Ameer Zareen, the ISPR had claimed: “The convict was an active member of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan. He was involved in attacking armed forces which resulted in death and injuries to officers and soldiers. He was also in possession of explosives. The convict admitted his offences before the magistrate and the trial court. He was tried on three charges and awarded death sentence. “

During hearing, the lawyer submitted before the bench that Bakht-e-Ameer was a resident of Swat and was handed over to the security forces by his family members in 2009 as he was not involved in any offence.

He said the convict was later shifted to an internment centre in Swat, where he was kept for many years. The lawyer said during that period, family members used to visit the detainee. The lawyer said the family members came to know through media that Bakht-e-Ameer had been convicted by a military court for unspecified offences.

He said in its detailed judgment, the Supreme Court, which had upheld the creation of military courts, had ruled that the judgments of the military courts were subject to judicial review on two grounds i.e. jurisdictional error and mala fide of the law.

The ISPR said the 13 hardcore terrorists were involved in heinous offences that included the killing of foreign tourists at Nanga Parbat, attack on the Saidu Sharif Airport, destruction of schools, attacks on the armed forces, law-enforcement agencies and civilians. These convicts were tried by military courts.

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