A member of government's legal team pursuing the Mashal Khan murder case has distanced himself from the trial citing personal reasons, DawnNews reported on Wednesday.

Zafar Abbas was appointed by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government as the Deputy Director Prosecution for the trial of Mashal Khan murder case.

Sources privy to the matter informed DawnNews that the prosecutor has already been de-notified by the legal team a month ago.

A private lawyer pursuing the case on behalf of Mashal's father Iqbal Khan said that Abbas did not appear in any of the case hearings except for the first hearing held on September 19.

Mashal's father had already raised objections over Abbas' appointment, claiming that he did not have the professional expertise to contest a criminal case, the counsel added

Meanwhile, KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has announced that the provincial government will bear the expenses of Mashal Khan's murder case trial.

Khattak has approved funds for the lawyers hired by Mashal's father Iqbal Khan, DawnNews reported.

Mashal Khan, a journalism student at the Abdul Wali Khan University in Mardan, was killed in April after a charged mob beat and shot him after accusing him of publishing blasphemous content online.

An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Haripur had indicted 57 people in the case on September 19 and formal hearing of the case began on September 20. Strict security measures have been taken in the vicinity of Haripur jail where the case is being heard.

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