A 65-year-old British national of Pakistani origin was on Friday sentenced to death under the controversial blasphemy law by a court in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.
Additional District and Sessions Judge R Naveed Iqbal also imposed a fine of Rs 1 million on Mohammad Asghar, who was arrested in 2010 in Rawalpindi for writing letters claiming to be a prophet.
Asghar sent the letters to several persons, including a police officer. Public prosecutor Javed Gul produced in the court a copy of the letter that Asghar wrote to a police station chief in Sadiqabad area.
Four police officials testified against Asghar during the hearing held within Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail. The judge rejected defence claims that the man has mental health problems.
The prosecution also submitted opinions of handwriting experts, who testified that the letters were written by Asghar. The prosecution also used Asghar’s confessional statement to support its case.
- Home Minister Rajnath Singh Assures Safety Of All Tourists Stranded On Havelock Island
- Government To Waive Service Tax On Debit, Credit Card Transactions Of Up To Rs 2,000
- President Pranab Mukherjee Criticises Parliament Disruptions Over Demonetisation
- Pakistan International Airlines Flight Carrying Over 40 Passenger On Board Crashes
- Shah Rukh Khan On Raees Clash With Kaabil: It’s Impossible To Have A Solo Release In India
- US-President Elect Donald Trump Named TIME’s Person Of The Year 2016
- O. Panneerselvam: 10 Things You Need To Know
- PM Narendra Modi Slams Opposition For Not Letting Parliament Function
- Nawazuddin Siddiqui On Working In Raees: Was Nervous To Shoot With Shah Rukh Khan
- Bathinda Dancer Murder: Video Showing Accused Opening Fire At Marriage
- 5 Lesser Known Facts About Sasikala Natarajan
- Congress Leader Shashi Tharoor’s Delhi Home Burgled: Here’s What Happened
- Reserve Bank Of India Keeps Repo Rate Unchanged Post Demonetisation
- Bigg Boss 10 Dec 06 Review: Swami Om Pees In Kitchen
- Lenovo k6 Power Video Review
Prosecutors said Asghar even claimed to be a prophet in front of the judge.
Initially, Sarah Bilal of Lahore appeared as defence counsel but the government later appointed another lawyer for Asghar after she expressed her reluctance to pursue the case.
The defence lawyer contended that since Asghar was suffering from mental disorder, his case should be treated on humanitarian grounds. The court set up a medical board to verify the lawyer’s contention.
However, the board’s report said Asghar was psychologically stable and did not suffer from any disorder.
Several persons have been sentenced to death under the harsh blasphemy law though none of them have been executed so far. Pakistani rights groups have criticised the law, saying it is often used to settle personal scores or to persecute minorities.