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Pakistan: Witnesses in blasphemy case turn hostile


Despite their dramatic turnaround on Monday, the three witnesses had earlier spoken to several TV news channels and accused Chishti of tampering evidence to implicate Rimsha in a blasphemy case.

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | Int’l Desk
Source/Credit: NDTV | News
By The Press Trust of India | october 1, 2012

Islamabad: The three men who had accused a cleric of tampering evidence to implicate young Christian girl Rimsha Masih in a blasphemy case withdrew their statement on Monday, claiming they were tortured by police to testify against the imam.

The three witnesses, who had earlier recorded statements against cleric Khalid Chishti, submitted a fresh statement in the court of a district and sessions judge in Islamabad that said police had forced them to blame Chishti for the incident.

One of the witnesses is Hafiz Mohammad Zubair, who works as the muezzin in the mosque where Chishti is the cleric.

Despite their dramatic turnaround on Monday, the three witnesses had earlier spoken to several TV news channels and accused Chishti of tampering evidence to implicate Rimsha in a blasphemy case.

They said Chishti had added burnt pages of a religious text to a shopping bag that was in Rimsha’s possession.

The district and sessions judge put off the hearing of a bail application filed by Chishti till October 3.

Police had earlier submitted an interim challan or charge-sheet that said Chishti had tampered with evidence. Chishti was earlier remanded to judicial custody.

[more…]

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