Rimsha case: Cleric acquitted for want of evidence

Published August 17, 2013
Hafiz Mohammed Khalid Chishti, the imam of the mosque in Rimsha's area, who first accused the young girl of buning pages of the Holy Quran last year and later gave police the burned papers as evidence against her.   — File Photo by Reuters
Hafiz Mohammed Khalid Chishti, the imam of the mosque in Rimsha's area, who first accused the young girl of buning pages of the Holy Quran last year and later gave police the burned papers as evidence against her. — File Photo by Reuters

ISLAMABAD: A lawyer says a Pakistani court has dismissed charges against the cleric who had accused a young Christian girl of blasphemy and had been arrested for allegedly forging evidence against her.

Wajid Ali Gilani said a district judge in Islamabad granted his motion to acquit his client Khalid Chishti, ruling that the prosecution had not brought forward sufficient evidence to convict the Imam (cleric).

Gilani is the counsel for Hafiz Mohammed Khalid Chishti, the Imam of the mosque in Rimsha's area, who first accused the minor girl of burning pages of the Holy Quran last year and later gave police the burned papers as evidence against her.

Weeks later, he was arrested for allegedly planting pages of a Quran in a shopping bag containing burned papers and ash.

Chishti was later granted bail and released in October last year on a surety and a bond of 200,000 rupees (about 2,000 dollars) by the court in Islamabad.

The girl, who now has taken refuge in Canada along with her family, had spent three weeks in jail before being released on bail after the sudden twist in the case.

Moreover, The Islamabad High Court (IHC) in November 2012 threw out all charges against the girl after the episode had garnered the attention of local and international media.

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