LAHORE: Contrary to the recent media reports, the judge who handed a death sentence to the late Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer’s assassin has left the country to perform Hajj in Saudi Arabia, according to official sources and documents. It had been previously reported that Judge Syed Pervez Ali Shah and his family were forced to flee the country and seek residency in Saudi Arabia after receiving death threats.
Shah has been on leave since he handed down the death sentence to Qadri on October 1.
According to the District and Sessions judge’s leave application, he requested the Lahore High Court (LHC) chief justice to grant him a 50-day Ex-Pakistan leave from October 18 to December 8, sources familiar with the matter told The Express Tribune.
They revealed that ‘no extra words’ were mentioned in this application as per the routine adopted in the Ex-Pakistan leave application, particularly for Hajj.
Following threats to Shah’s life, LHC Chief Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry placed his services at the disposal of the Punjab government and transferred him from the anti-terrorism court-II to the Child Protection Court in Lahore in the first week of October.
Superintendent of the Child Protection Court Lahore Muhammad Jamil told The Express Tribune that Shah had taken charge as the presiding officer of the Child Protection Court on October 17.
Meanwhile, the special prosecutor for the federal government, Saiful Malook, who fought the case on behalf of Taseer’s family, told The Express Tribune that he has also been receiving death threats.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 26th, 2011.