Court accepts transit bail of last nominated accused in Mashal Khan murder case

MARDAN: A court in Mardan has granted transit bail to Asad Zia, an employee at the Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, who is the last nominated accused in the murder case of Mashal Khan.

Asad Zia had approached the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Mardan through his lawyer for anticipatory bail, but the court rejected the application, arguing that the case has been shifted to ATC Abbottabad and he should approach there for this purpose. Asad Zia’s lawyer then prayed the Mardan court to approve transit bail of the accused prior to his appearance before the Abbottabad court to avoid arrest. The Mardan court approved the transit bail of the accused and asked him to submit application in the ATC Abbottabad for anticipatory bail before April 16.

Asad Zia is the last nominated accused in Mashal Khan murder case who was absconding till now. A total of 61 accused were nominated in the murder case of Mashal Khan who was killed on false accusation of blasphemy at Abdul Wali Khan University by an angry mob in April last year. Fifty-seven accused were arrested immediately after the incident, while one accused, Izhar was arrested in January this year and Arif was arrested in March. Another accused, Sabir Mayar, handed him over to police on March 19.

The ATC Abbottabad has already announced verdict about the 57 accused in the case. One accused, Imran got death sentence in the case, five accused got life imprisonment, 25 accused got four-year imprisonment each, while 26 accused were acquitted. Later on, the Peshawar High Court also released the 25 accused on bail who got four-year imprisonment from the ATC Abbottabad.

Iqbal Khan, father of Mashal Khan, and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government have challenged the verdict of the ATC Abbottabad in the PHC.

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