An anti-terrorism court in Abbottabad reserved its judgement in the Mashal Khan murder case after the hearing of the case was completed on Saturday. The verdict will be announced on February 7.
The ATC Judge Fazal-i-Subhan Khan heard the case in the heavily guarded Haripur Central Jail and reserved the decision after defence lawyers completed their arguments.
Mashal Khan, a student of journalism at the Abdul Wali Khan University was lynched to death on April 13, 2017 by an angry mob after allegations of blasphemy surfaced against him. The brutal, videotaped murder had shocked the nation, sparking a debate over the misuse of blasphemy laws in Pakistan.
The Peshawar High Court had transferred the case from Mardan to ATC Abbottabad, which heard the case in the Haripur jail, on a request of Mashal’s father, who sought the move fearing his “influential adversaries”.
The ATC started hearing the case in September after indicting 57 arrested suspects including students and staff members of the university. It also rejected the bail application of the arrested men in the case.
During the course of the hearing, nearly 50 witnesses were presented before the court and had their statements recorded.
Mashal’s father Iqbal Khan, his friends and teachers also recorded their statements before the ATC. The court completed the hearing of the case in five months and 10 days.