Monday Feb 29, 2016
RAWALPINDI: Mumtaz Qadri, convicted for the murder of former Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, was executed in Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail early Monday morning, jail and Punjab police said.
Qadri was hanged after President Mamnoon Hussain dismissed his clemency appeal.
Mumtaz Qadri, a bodyguard of Salman Taseer, governor of Punjab province, shot him dead in the federal capital Islamabad in 2011.
"Qadri was hanged at around 4:30am," senior police officer Rizwan Omar Gondal said.
Late in 2011, an anti-terrorism court handed down a double death sentence to Qadri for murder and terrorism.
The sentence was appealed and upheld by the Supreme Court late last year.
The jail authorities arranged a meeting of Mumtaz Qadri with his family before he was hanged. His body was later handed over to his family members.
After his arrest, Qadri had told police he killed Taseer because the governor had championed the cause of a Christian woman sentenced to death in a blasphemy case that arose out of a personal dispute.
Taseer had said the law was being misused and should be reformed.
Qadri's attorney said his client told him he had no regrets for killing the governor.
Street protests broke out within hours by supporters of the killer, who consider him a hero for defending the faith. The head of the Islamabad Bar Council called for a day-long strike of lawyers in protest against the hanging.
Protesters briefly blocked the main road between Rawalpindi and Islamabad on Monday after news of the hanging broke. Police later dispersed them and closed off the road to prevent more demonstrations.
Late in 2011, an anti-terrorism court handed down a double death sentence to Qadri for murder and terrorism. The sentence was appealed and upheld by the Supreme Court late last year.
Some lawyers showered Qadri with rose petals when he first arrived in court days after the killing. The judge who first convicted him was forced to flee the country after death threats.