By Shahab Akbar
MARDAN: An employee of Abdul Wali Khan University, one of 61 people convicted in Mashal Khan murder case, got a pre-arrest bail on Wednesday.
The suspect Asad Katling had been absconding for a year. He surfaced in an anti-terrorism court and managed to secure the bail till April 16.
This comes a day after Peshawar High Court (PHC) ordered the transfer of all appeals submitted against a verdict of the anti-terrorism court in the Mashal Khan murder case.
The court ruled that the case could be transferred to Peshawar since the crime falls within the jurisdiction of the PHC.
Mashal Khan, a student of Abdul Wali Khan University, was killed by a mob of fellow students and campus staff after being accused of committing blasphemy on April 13, 2017. Police investigating the murder said that blasphemy allegations were fabricated.
In its judgment issued on February 7, 2018, an anti-terrorism court sentenced one person to death and jailed five for life. Another 25 were ordered to serve at least three years in prison while 26 were acquitted.
Three weeks later on February 27, PHC Abbottabad circuit bench suspended the three-year jail term handed down to 25 convicts and ordered their release on bail.
Mashal Khan’s family challenged the acquittal, arguing all the convicts be given same sentence as they all had the same intention.
The K-P government has also filed three appeals against the acquittal.
Story first published: 11th April 2018