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    Death sentence of child rapist upheld

    MAZAR-I-SHARIF (PAN): The Appellant Court on Saturday upheld the death sentence awarded to a man for raping a 5-year-old girl in northern Balkh province.

    The ruling came at an open trial in Mazar-i-Sharif, the provincial capital, in presence of both parties to the case, residents and media representatives.

    Police had arrested two brothers, Juma Nazar and Juma Murad, in the case that took place three months ago in the Aq Masjid village of Kaldar district.

    On January 7, a primary court sentenced to death Juma Nazar and ordered lashes to Juma Murad.

    The Appellant Court chief, Qazi Fazluddin, upheld the death sentence awarded to Juma Nazar, but ruled the accused had the right of appeal against the verdict.      

    Nazar denied the charge, insisting being a Muslim, he would never commit such crime. "I am ready to take oath on the holy Quran that I have not did it; I do not know who raped her," he said.

    The girl and her parents were present at the courtroom. The father said he was satisfied with the death sentence.