[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Sun Sep 18 22:49:02 CDT 2005
Fate of death row prisoner depends on mercy
An Indian national on death row in Pakistan, convicted as a spy and for
setting bombs that killed several people, could get mercy from the
victims' families, Pakistan's foreign minister said.
Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri told the Hindi news channel Aaj Tak in New York
that the fate of Sarabjit Singh, currently in a prison in the northern
Pakistani city of Lahore, could be decided by the relatives of those
"Under Islamic law . . . a death sentence can be commuted into life
sentence if the relatives of the dead agree," Kasuri said.
This case "will become a test case in Pakistan itself", he added.
Singh's conviction and death sentence were upheld by Pakistan's Supreme
Court last month.
This prompted his relatives in India along with the government to call for
a review of the case by Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf.
Last week, Musharraf said in an interview that no decision had been taken
on pleas he had received to revoke the death sentence.
Sarabjit's relatives say he is a farmer from the Punjab state who crossed
the border into neighbouring Pakistan 15 years ago while drunk.
He had then been confused with a man named Manjit Singh, whom Pakistan has
blamed for a series of bombings in Lahore in 1990.
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