Published: Sun, February 18, 2018

Zainab rape and murder case: Accused Imran Ali gets four death sentences

Zainab rape and murder case: Accused Imran Ali gets four death sentences

An anti-terrorism tribunal in Lahore, in eastern Pakistan, has sentenced four death sentences and a life sentence to perpetrator of rape and murder of a 7-year-old girl in city of Kasur, in eastern province of Punjab, on Saturday., in a case that last January shook whole country.

Ali was arrested in January, two weeks after the body of 7-year-old Zainab Ansari was found in a garbage dump in Kasur, about 340 kilometers (210 miles) south of the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.

Prosecutors say Imran, 24, is a serial killer who has also admitted to killing several other children.

Ali was handed death sentences for kidnapping, rape, murder and an act of terrorism, as well as a life sentence for sodomy.

The case has triggered the people in Pakistan, regarding teaching the children against how to guard against sex abuse, which is considered a taboo in Muslim society.

A three-member prosecution team led by Abdul Rauf Wattoo assisted the court. The verdict was announced at the Lahore's Central Jail in Kot Lakhpat. Journalists were stopped 500 metres (yards) from the prison and only relatives of the victim were allowed in court for the hearing. "Hanging him is just ordinary for him", Nusrat Amin told Al Jazeera.

Ali will be tried over the rest of the cases later, government prosecutor, Ehtisham Qadir Shah, said.

"We agree with the judge's verdict, but we still demand that he [Imran Ali] should be hanged in public... he should be hanged at the same place where he took our child", she said.

Earlier, his lawyer had withdrawn from the case after Ali had confessed to the crime, it was reported.

"During a period of two years, at least 13 children have been raped and killed in this city of less than a million people in Punjab, Pakistan's most populous state".

Ali confessed to eight cases, but it is not clear if the four others are linked. Meanwhile, accused counsel Mehr Shakeel decided not to plead the case after his confessional statement.

According to the victim's father Ameen Ansari, Ali - who lived nearby - had taken part in the initial protests that erupted after Zainab's body was discovered.

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