2 Oct 2011

Governor's killer sentenced to death

7:26 am on 2 October 2011

A court in Pakistan on Saturday sentenced to death the police bodyguard who killed Punjab Governor Salman Taseer in January.

Mumtaz Qadri had confessed to murder on the grounds that he objected to comments by Mr Taseer about a blasphemy law.

He opened fire on the governor as he was about to get into his car in the capital, Islamabad, on 4 January.

Qadri said he was enforcing divine law by murdering a blasphemer.

Mr Taseer had championed the cause of a Christian woman sentenced to death in a blasphemy case, which arose out of a dispute. He said the law was being misused and should be reformed.

The BBC reports many in Pakistan hailed Qadri as a hero. His family said they were very happy that he had carried out this act.

The death penalty has rarely been carried out in Pakistan in recent years.

In August, Mr Taseer's son Shahbaz was kidnapped in the Punjabi capital Lahore. His fate is unknown.