LAHORE: Contrary to local media reports suggesting that the judge who convicted Mumtaz Qadri has fled the country due to death-threats, The Express Tribune has learnt that Syed Pervez Ali Shah has left for Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj.
The former Anti-Terrorism Court judge delivered the death sentence to Qadri for the murder of former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer.
Local media reported that he fled the country after he received death threats from extremist groups.
Sources told The Express Tribune that he had submitted an application for a 50-day ex-Pakistan leave from October 18 to December 8, to the Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice CJ Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry.
Superintendent of Child Protection Court (CPC) Muhammad Jamil told The Express Tribune that Shah had taken charge on October 17. He reportedly left for Hajj on October 18, said Jamil, adding that “nothing extra was mentioned” in his application to LHC.
Sources revealed that the leave application does not mention anything in particular regarding death threats. Howeve,r earlier the judge had been unable to perform his duty due to the hostility of lawyers and other religious groups who had been asking the authorities to hand Shah over to them.
Shah was transferred to the CPC Bureau in Lahore as Sitting District and Session Judge and Presiding Officer amid protest from religious groups.
Special Prosecutor for the federal government, Saiful Malook – who fought the case on behalf of Taseer’s family – told The Express Tribune that he also faced death threats from some elements for appearing as counsel in the court.