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Peshawar High Court sets aside military court sentences of 74 convicts

October 19, 2018

The Peshawar High Court set aside on Thursday the sentences of 74 people convicted by the military courts.  

In a short order, the two-member bench, comprising PHC Chief Justice Waqar Ahmed Seth and Justice Lal Jan Khattak, ordered the release of the convicts.

The court is yet to release a detailed order.

Fifty convicts were awarded death sentences, while the remaining 24 were serving prison time. Relatives of the convicts had challenged the convictions under Article 199 of the Constitution, which deals with the jurisdiction of high courts.

The details of two of the 74 convicts have been released.

Zorawar Khan, a resident of Dir, had challenged the death sentence of his uncle, Gul Faraz, by the military court.

The applicant’s lawyer, Shabbir Hussain, said that 28 people, including an MPA, were killed in an explosion at a funeral ground in Mardan on June 19, 2013. Faraz was convicted of facilitating and planning the explosion.

The counsel said that the military court did not have single evidence against his client, except his confession. Even the statement was recoded years after he was taken into custody, the lawyer said.

Hussain also represented another convict from Hangu, Jannat Karim. The lawyer said that Karim was given death penalty by the military court solely on the basis of his confessional statement. The convict’s nephew, Ahsanullah, had challenged the conviction.

Karim was convicted of facilitating suicide attacks in 2009 and 2010, and other attacks on policemen.


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