No death sentence: Court issues verdict in journalist’s murder case

Ayub Khattak was shot dead in 2013 for his work on crime reporting


Our Correspondent March 31, 2016
PHOTO: AFP

PESHAWAR: A Pakistani media development organisation called Freedom Network obtained an attested copy of the verdict of a court in Karak district in the murder case of journalist Ayub Khattak. Khattak was killed in 2013 for doing crime reporting in the district.

“The prosecution’s evidence is consistent and confidence-inspiring,” the verdict read, “And it could not be riddled with any sort of doubt [over] the accused Aminullah[…]The prosecution has been successful in proving its case against [Aminullah] to bring to home the charge and the court finds him guilty; and under the mitigating and extenuating circumstances convict him as under:

(i) With imprisonment for life as Section 302 (b) of the Pakistan Penal Code for the premeditated murder of Muhammad Ayub by fire shots, and out of which 15 years will be rigorous imprisonment while the remaining will be simple imprisonment; (ii) Additionally, he [must pay] Rs500,000 as compensation  to the heirs of the said deceased under Section 544-A of Criminal Code Procedure…”

It was the third judgment given in a murder case of a journalist. Earlier, the courts had given their verdicts in the murder case of the American journalist Daniel Pearl as well as Wali Khan Babar from GeoTV.

Ayub Khattak was shot dead on October 11, 2013 in Karak. Khattak’s brother Khan and son Shamsur Rehman voiced dissatisfaction over the court’s verdict for not punishing the accused with a death sentence. “We are going to challenge this verdict in Peshawar High Court,” Khan said after the verdict was issued.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st,  2016.

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