Zainab case: Convict Imran Ali appeals to LHC to overturn death penalty verdict, says he's 'not guilty'
Imran Ali, who was convicted by an Anti-terrorism Court (ATC) on Saturday for the rape and murder of 6-year-old Zainab, has appealed to the Lahore High Court (LHC) against the verdict that handed him death penalty on four counts.
The appeal was submitted in the high court on Tuesday by jail officials in Ali's name. In the appeal, the convict claims to be not guilty.
"The trial was conducted in haste and legal requirements were not fulfilled during the trial," Ali said in his appeal while asking the court to overturn the ATC's verdict.
The four death penalties were for kidnapping, raping and murdering Zainab, and for committing an act of terrorism punishable under Section 7 of the Anti Terrorism Act (ATA).
One life sentence, along with a Rs1 million fine, was handed to Ali for committing an "unnatural act". Two death sentences, accompanied by Rs1 million fine each, were imposed on him under ATA and Pakistan Penal Code. A 7-year jail sentence and Rs100,000 fine was further awarded for concealing the body in a trash heap.
Additionally, Rs1 million from the penalties imposed will be paid to the victim's heirs, the judge had ruled.
Ali faces further charges in the cases of at least seven other children he attacked — five of whom were murdered — in a spate of assaults that had stoked fears a serial child killer was on the loose.
He has confessed to all eight attacks, including the death of Zainab, AFP had reported when the verdict was read.
Zainab's rape and murder last month had sparked outrage and protests across the country after the six-year-old, who went missing on January 4, was found dead in a trash heap in Kasur on Jan 9.
Her case was the twelfth such incident to occur within a 10 kilometre radius in the city over a 12-month period.