Supreme Court to hear review petition against Asia Bibi’s acquittal

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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday said that it would hear a review petition challenging the acquittal of Asia Bibi of blasphemy charges.

A three-member bench will decide on January 29 whether or not to allow the appeal. The bench comprises Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel

The petition was filed by Qari Muhammad Saalam through his counsel Ghulam Mustafa Chaudhry.

Bibi, who has been on death row for 9 years, was acquitted by the apex court in November last year. Her acquittal led to three days of violent protests that came to an end after the government reached a controversial agreement with them.

The petitioner argued that Bibi had confessed to her crimes during investigation, and that a delay in lodging the First Information Request does not imply that the defendant is not guilty.

The petitioner had also sought to put her name on the Exit Control List till a final decision on the review petition was made.

On January 29, “the court will determine if our appeal against her acquittal is admitted”, Ghulam Mustafa Chaudhry, the lawyer who filed the petition seeking an appeal, told AFP. “Usually the court decides on the same day if the appeal is admitted or not,” he added.