Terror convicts: LHC vacates stay against seven executions

Thursday, December 25th, 2014 4:44:45 by


The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday vacated stay orders against the execution of seven terrorists condemned to death by military courts.

Justice Arshad Mahmood Tabassum of the LHC, Rawalpindi bench, vacated his December 22 stay order on the execution of five convicts – Ehsan Azeem, Asif Idrees, Amir Yousaf, Kamran Aslam and Umar Nadeem – who were convicted by the Field General Court Martial for the 2012 attack on an army camp in Gujrat that had killed seven army officers.

The convicts were scheduled to be hanged in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail on December 22. However, the LHC judge had suspended their execution and directed the military authorities to provide the convicts with copies of the military courts’ proceedings and judgment by the next date. Subsequently, the federal government filed a review petition against the order.

Earlier, the counsel for the convicts, Advocate Laiq Khan Swati, argued that the court could not hear the matter as its December 22 order was not implemented by military authorities. He informed the court that his clients were not given relevant documents of the trial. He contended that since his clients were civilians, a military court could not try them.

Deputy Attorney General Sajid Ilyas Bhatti, however, argued before the court that all legal and constitutional steps had been followed during the trial of the convicts, who were also provided with copies of judgments and other relevant documents.

The court was also provided with the copies of judgments and mercy applications dismissed by the court of appeals and the army chief.

Meanwhile, Justice Zafarullah Khan Khakwani of the LHC, Rawalpindi bench, also vacated the stay order against the death sentence awarded to two convicts by a military court for their involvement in the November 2, 2009 deadly suicide attack outside a National Bank branch near the GHQ in Rawalpindi. Around 29 people were killed and 60 wounded in the attack.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 25th, 2014.

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