Monday, February 1, 2016

Civilian court in Pakistan grants remission of court-martial sentence

While it is possible to point to common elements of military justice systems from country to country, nation-specific features remain abundant, as this story from Pakistan reveals. The Lahore High Court has granted partial remission of the sentence imposed on a retired brigadier by a court-martial. Excerpt:
Remission is granted to convicts in the form of reduction of sentence on different occasions, including Eids and national days, while they are held in custody during the course of investigation and trial.
According to retd Brig Wasaf Khan Niazi, a former judge advocate general of the army, [Brigadier (ret)] Ali Khan had been kept in detention for over one year before he was convicted of being linked to the banned organisation, Hizbut Tahrir (HuT), and sentenced to five-year[s] rigorous imprisonment.
The LHC order will provide some relief to the convict as the jail authorities will calculate the duration of total remission and deduct it from the period of imprisonment.
Note that Brig. Khan was retired at the time of his 2011-12 court-martial. Human rights principles disfavor the exercise of court-martial jurisdiction over retired personnel.

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