Thursday, April 2, 2015

First 7 convictions by Pakistan's new military courts

The first seven convictions have been handed down by Pakistan's new military courts, including six death sentences. PT has the story here:
In first-ever verdict since their establishment in January, the military courts have handed down death sentence to six “hardcore terrorists”, the military said Thursday. 
One was awarded life imprisonment, Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Maj Gen Asim Bajwa said in a statement. 
The government had decided to set up military-led special courts after the Taliban’s brutal attack on Army Public School, Peshawar in December last year that had killed 140 children and 10 of their teachers. 
The courts had formally started work in February and the Interior Ministry had sent 12 terrorism-related cases. 
“Seven hardcore terrorists involved in committing heinous offences relating to terrorism, men slaughtering, suicide bombing, abduction for ransom, colossal damage to life and property were tried by military courts,” Maj Gen Bajwa said. 
“In view of the nature and gravity of offences preferred against each, six terrorists have been awarded death sentences and one life imprisonment by the military courts,” he said, adding that Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif has confirmed the death sentences. 
Those awarded death sentence include Noor Saeed, Haider Ali, Murad Khan, Inayatullah, Israrud din and Qari Zahir. Abbas has been awarded life imprisonment. 
The convicts have the right to file an appeal before the court of appeals, the spokesman added. 
The statement did not reveal as to when and where the trial had been held.
Nothing about pleas, whether counsel was permitted to make submissions to the COAS, whether the COAS had a transcript of the proceedings, and the availability of appellate review.

It would appear that the offenses at issue were committed before the 21st Amendment and implementing legislation were enacted. Meanwhile, back at the Supreme Court of Pakistan, this entry still appears in the online case status data for challenges to the recent legislation:
To be placed before HCJ for constitution of larger bench
The court seems to have a case of what President Lincoln called "the slows." 

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