To the gallows: Haripur jail receives death warrant for Niaz Muhammad

Condemned prisoner refuses to file mercy petition, will file fresh appeal

Our Correspondent December 21, 2014

ABBOTABAD: The jail administration of Central Prison Haripur has received the death warrant for the execution of Niaz Muhammad on Sunday. He is expected to be shifted to a jail in either Peshawar or Rawalpindi, insiders told The Express Tribune.  

Muhammad is the co-accused in the assassination attempt on former army chief and president General Pervez Musharraf on December 14, 2003 in Rawalpindi. At the time of his arrest, Muhammad was a junior technician in the Pakistan Airforce. Field General Court Martial sentenced Muhammad and his five accomplices to death in October 2005 after a trial spanning a year.

His black warrant was issued by a military court a couple of days ago. Insiders said he was given the opportunity to file a mercy petition. However, he refused to do so and instead asked his lawyer to file a fresh appeal with the apex court on December 12, insiders have revealed.

According to insiders, the defence failed to produce documentary proof in court. Following his refusal to file a mercy petition, the jail administration has written to the home department for further process. Once the letter has been received, the home department will transfer Muhammad to either Peshawar or Rawalpindi jail within 24 hours.  After Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif lifted the six-year moratorium on death penalty for prisoners in terrorism cases, convicts are being executed in different jails across the country.

Those familiar with the matter say Muhammad is among six out of 141 inmates at Central Prison Haripur who are on death row. The convict filed an appeal before the Lahore High Court against conviction which was rejected in March 2006 and another appeal in the Supreme Court was turned down in September 2006. Muhammad’s review petition before the SC was also dismissed in March 2011.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 22nd, 2014.


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