Suspect in Pakistani politician’s assassination indictedBy DPA, IANS
Monday, February 14, 2011
ISLAMABAD - Authorities in Pakistan Monday charged the main suspect in the assassination of a government official with murder and acts of terrorism.
Mumtaz Hussain Qadri is alleged to have shot dead former Punjab province governor Salam Taseer in Islamabad Jan 4 while deployed as a security guard for the politician.
His lawyer Raja Shujaur Rehman told reporters that a judge of anti-terrorism court indicted Qadri for murder and terrorism-related charges during the hearing at the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi.
According to Rehman, Qadri has confessed to killing Taseer after he made a remark about country’s blasphemy laws being “black laws”.
“Taseer was a blasphemer and killing a blasphemer is the duty of every Muslim,” Qadri was quoted as having told the judge.
Supporters of the accused, including 200 students from Islamic seminaries and state-run colleges gathered outside the building during the hearing.
Tens of thousands of people have taken to streets in support of Qadri and the blasphemy laws since the shooting.
Earlier this month, the government withdrew a bill that would change current blasphemy laws.
The charges of murder and terrorism carry death penalty in Pakistan. The next hearing in the Qadri case is scheduled for Feb 26.