Activists of Sunni Tehreek chant slogans for release of Mumtaz Qadri outside the IHC during a hearing of Salman Taseer’s murder case. — INP
ISLAMABAD: A lawyer for Mumtaz Qadri, the killer of former Punjab governor Salman Taseer, said the Charlie Hebdo attackers were his heroes.
A two-member appellate court comprising IHC’s Justice Noorul Haq Qureshi and Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui heard the appeal today.
Justice Siddiqui said he “could not even think of having a discussion on the issue of blasphemy” and added that no discussion could take place in support of blasphemers.
He added that no one could be allowed to take the law in their hands.
Islamabad Additional Advocate General Mian Abdul Rauf represented the federal government during the hearing as it failed to nominate a prosecutor in the case.
During the hearing, counsel for Mumtaz Qadri and former Lahore High Court chief justice Khawaja Mohammad Sharif told the court that there was no conflict between his client and the late governor.
Presenting his arguments, Sharif told the court that his client had no personal enmity with Salman Taseer and that Qadri had submitted his confessional statement under police pressure.
Also read: Qadri case file ‘vanishes’ from court records
Sharif read out the statement recorded by his client in the presence of a magistrate in which Qadri confessed to have requested the moharar of the Elite Force to depute him with the governor.
The statement further said that he had been posted on guard duty with the governor all day long.
Qadri’s statement added that he had no personal resentment against Taseer nor was he under any pressure to kill him.
The statement added that the governor had committed blasphemy by terming theblasphemy law as a ‘black law’.
Advocate Sharif further read out that his client had an altercation before the incident and that he was arrested by another guard after the killing.
The statement added that Waqas, a friend of the slain governor, was also present on the site at the time of the incident but he chose not to become a witness in the case.
Another defence lawyer for Qadri, retired Justice Mian Nazir Akhtar presented his arguments against the inclusion of Section 6 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) against his client.
He was of the view that the incident had not stirred any terror and there were no witnesses to testify the same.
He further said that Section 6 of the ATA had been included additionally.
The court adjourned the hearing of the case to Feb 6.
Punjab governor Salman Taseer was assassinated by his security guard associated with the Punjab Elite Force, Mumtaz Qadri, on Jan 4, 2011 at Kohsar Market in Islamabad.
Qadri was awarded the death sentence by an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on Oct 2011.