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Judgment reserved in Laiba murder case

KARACHI: An anti-terrorism court reserved judgment on Thursday in the kidnapping and murder case of a minor girl against a 19-year-old man after hearing final arguments from the prosecution and defence attorneys.

Judge Ghulam Ali A. Samtio of ATC-1 fixed March 26 for the pronouncement of judgment. Special Public Prosecutor Naimat Ali Randhawa pleaded in the court to sentence the accused to capital punishment. Defence counsel Mir Mohammed Shaikh, however, prayed to the court to acquit

the accused as the prosecu-tion’s case was full of contradictions.

The case pertained to the kidnapping and killing of 2½-year-old girl, Laiba, daughter of Rehmatullah, a transporter. The victim was kidnapped on April 27 in North Nazimabad and her body found shortly after a ransom was paid to her captor.

The family received a telephone call around midnight, demanding Rs1.5 million as ransom. Following the call, the family lodged an FIR at Taimuria Police Station. The police and Citizen-Police Liaison Committee representatives negotiated with the kidnapper and struck a deal for Rs300,000.

A place was decided between the kidnappers and the family to pay the ransom in F.B. Area and the girl would be handed over to the family. The family paid the ransom and was told where to find the girl.

The family located the structure in a ground in Block 12, F.B. Area. When they went inside, they found the day-old body of Laiba, which had turned stiff.

The police later arrested Asadullah, first cousin of the girl’s father, who lived opposite the girl’s house. Hailing from South Waziristan, the 19-year-old youth was a class IX student. He allegedly kidnapped the girl, took her to his house, strangled her with a necktie and stuffed her body into his cricket kit-bag.

It was alleged that he threw the body into a small room of the ground, where he played cricket.

The accused stated that he was innocent and implicated in the case.

Special Public Prosecutor Naimat Ali Randhawa examined 16 prosecution witnesses in the case.

Source: Dawn

Date:3/23/2007

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