Mashal Khan murder case verdict to be announced on February 7

An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Abbottabad reserved its judgement in the Mashal Khan murder case after the hearing of the case was completed on Saturday. The verdict will be announced on February 7.
The ATC Judge Fazl Subhan heard the case in the heavily guarded Haripur Central Jail and reserved the decision after defence lawyers completed their arguments.
Mashal Khan, a student of journalism at the Abdul Wali Khan University was lynched to death on April 13, 2017 by an angry mob after allegations of blasphemy surfaced against him. The brutal, videotaped murder had shocked the nation, sparking a debate over the misuse of blasphemy laws in Pakistan.
Peshawar High Court transferred the case from Mardan to ATC Abbottabad, which heard the case in the Haripur jail, on Mashal’s father application seeking the transfer owing to sensitivity of the case.
The ATC started hearing the case in September after indicting 57 arrested men including students and staff members of the university. It also rejected the bail application of the arrested men in the case.
During the hearing almost 50 witnesses were presented before the court and had their statements recorded. Mashal’s father Iqbal Khan, his friends and teachers also recorded their statement before the ATC.
The court completed the hearing in five months and ten days.