LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court on Saturday gave benefit of the doubt and acquitted four suspects in one of the nine cases in the Kasur child abuse scandal that surfaced in 2015.

Announcing the verdict, judge Chaudhry Muhammad Ilyas acquitted Saleem Akhter Sherazi, Attiqur Rehman, Tanzeelur Rehman and Haseem Amir.

Ganda Singhwala police of Kasur had registered the cases against the suspects and some others on charges of abducting and sexually assaulting around 280 children of Kasur.

Counsel for the suspects had argued that police implicated them in the cases on government pressure. The suspects had no role in the incidents of alleged child abuse. He asked the court to release the suspects on bail.

Last year, the court had awarded life imprisonment to two suspects – Faizan Majeed and Haseem Amir -- in another case in the scandal. The prosecution had accused them of sexually assaulting young boys and filming the act to blackmail the victims.

In some of the cases, the trial court had deleted Section 7 of Anti-Terrorism Act from the first information reports and referred the trials of suspects to the district and sessions court. Later, the Lahore High Court on an appeal of the prosecution set aside the decision and restored the provision of the anti-terrorism law.

Published in Dawn, August 20th, 2017

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