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Farkhunda’s case: Court delays prosecution of 19 policemen

By Akhtar M. Nikzad-KABUL: The primary court on Sunday postponed the prosecution of 19 policemen, accused of negligence and failing to rescue Farkhunda when she came under attack by an angry mob in Kabul nearly two months back.

Farkhunda was lynched by a mob in Kabul in front of policemen on March 19 for allegedly burning copy of the Holy Qur’an.

The primary court announced that it will delay its verdict on 19 policemen due to lack of evidence and incomplete investigation over dossiers of the police officers.

The court’s last week decision that sentenced four of the accused to death and 16 others to long-term imprisonment faced criticism by civil society activists and a number of lawyers as they raised their voices through media and said the primary court was quick in its decision. They also said the court has hurried in its verdict on those involved in Farkhunda’s case.

Safiullah Mujaddidi, head of the primary court, told newsmen that all decisions of the court were taken according to the law.

“We held public trial for Farkhunda’s case, evidences were presented and the accused had their defense attorneys. Nothing injustice has occurred during the trial,” he said.

He assured that the primary court will carry on Farkhunda’s case thoroughly and will announce its verdict based on Shari’a and criminal laws.

Hinting at a number of remarks on the recent decision of the court, he rejected the remarks by civil society activists, and said the verdict was just as all principals were considered during the trial.

Mujaddidi said 18 of the accused were released by the primary court as there was no sufficient evidence that prove their involvement in Farkhunda’s killing.

“Analysts and activists should first boost their knowledge about criminal law and authorities of the courts and then make viewpoints about our verdicts, otherwise they will be introduced to judiciary if they interfered in the court’s affairs,” he warned.

He said their decision is primary and the defenders have the right to appeal in the appellate court.

Farkhunda’s brother, Muhibullah, said he and his family were not happy with the court’s verdict.

He said four people were sentenced to death but everyone knows that more than 40 people were involved in killing of his sister.

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