Law to take own course in Farkhunda killing case: Ghani
KBAUL (Pajhwok): President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has reassured that law will take its own course in the widely reported Farkhunda killing case.
During a meeting with a delegation comprised civil society members--- advocating for a just solution of Farkhunda case---, the president said on Sunday that the appellant court was yet to issue its final decision.
A statement from the Presidential Palace said that the president could not legally intervene in the appellant court verdict but he would try to ensure that justice was done to Farkhunda and her family members.
The 27 year-old Farkhunda Malikzada was brutally beaten to death, burnt and thrown into muddy Kabul River by a mob on 19 March in Kabul in the presence of scores of people after she was accused of burning a copy of Quran.
Earlier, the Kabul primary court convicted and sentenced four men to death for their role in the mob killing in March this year and sent another eight defendants to jail for 16 years each.
But the appellant court in its last week ruling quashed the death sentence and changed into 20 years imprisonment.
Safiullah Mujaddedi, the primary court judge, awarded capital punishment to Zain-ul-Abedin son of Gulabuddin, Mohammad Yaqoob son of Mohammad Yasin, Mohammad Sharif son of Sharafuddin, Abdul Bashir son of Abdul Shakoor on the charges of killing Farkhunda and burning her body.
The Afghan Women’s Network (AWN) last Thursday denounced the appellant court decision to revoke the death penalty of four individuals accused in Farkhanda murder case.
Lya Jawad, member of the AWN, told Pajhwok Afghan News the court hearing was expected to take place in open, but it was conducted off-camera.
She termed the court decision unjust and warned of series of protests from next Tuesday if the decision was not reversed.
“We had doubt in the decisions of primary court and expected the appellant court would ensure justice,” she noted.
Abdul Ali Mohammadi, President Ghani’s legal advisor, pointed out that appellant court had filled the gaps left in first court decision. He emphasized the alleged persons did not have lawyers during first court trail.
He said that finding killer of Farkhunda was a main issue since according to the law the person who beat Farkhunda to death would be the original killer.
Cell phone videos and pictures were the sole evidences in Farkhunda case, Mohammadi said, adding that “the judges have confronted with issues due to the complexity of the case and also showed the shortcomings of existing Afghan law therefore, the case should be decided according to Hanafi sect of Islamic law.”
The delegation urged president for immediate arrest of culprits involved in Farkhunda murder.
The president said justice would be delivered in the case. The president reassured his complete support to Farkhunda’s family and asked civil society to share their findings with him to improve existing law and performance of police to facilitate Afghans.
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