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March 13, 2019

Trial of remaining accused

Peshawar

March 13, 2019

ATC reserves verdict in Mashal lynching case

By Bureau report

PESHAWAR: The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) here on Tuesday reserved verdict in the trial of the remaining four accused in the Mashal Khan lynching case.

Mashal Khan, a 23-year old student of the Department of Mass Communication at the Abdul Wali Khan University in Mardan, was lynched by a mob on April 13, 2017 after being accused of blasphemy. A joint investigation team later concluded that the allegations were false.

The ATC judge reserved the verdict after the lawyers from both the sides concluded their arguments.

Earlier, the court recorded the statements of 40 witnesses along with those of Mashal Khan’s father Iqbal Khan and the four accused including Asad Katlang, Sabir Mayar, Arif Khan who was an elected councillor and Izharullah.

The court said it will announce the verdict on March 16.

Three of the accused, including Tehsil Councillor Arif Khan commonly known as Arif Councillor, Izharullah alias Johny and Sabir Mayar were arrested after absconding.

One of the main accused, Asad Katlang, was given an interim pre-arrest bail by the ATC Abbottabad.

However, he was arrested after cancellation of his pre-arrest bail.

All the four accused were absconders and were arrested after the ATC verdict issued on February 7.

The ATC had convicted 31 of the 57 accused in the Mashal Khan murder case. It had awarded death sentence to the prime accused, Imran Khan, life imprisonment to five of them, and three-year imprisonment to 25 others.

The court had acquitted the rest of 26 persons, observing that the prosecution failed to prove charges against them.

The state and Mashal Khan’s father had challenged the decision of the ATC and appeals are pending in the Peshawar High Court.

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