Court convicts two, acquits eight Malala attack suspects

Pakistani court sentences two suspects in Malala Yousafzai attack to life in prison, acquits eight citing lack of evidence against them

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

A Pakistani court has sentenced two men to life in prison for their role in organising the 2012 attack on Malala Yousafzai, and acquitted remaining eight suspects citing lack of evidence against them, the local police said on Friday.

“An anti-terrorism court had sentenced two attackers, lIsarur Rehman and Izharullah, to life imprisonment, the rest of the eight alleged attackers Shaukat, Irfan, Suleman, Bilal, Zafar Ali, Arafat, Ikran and Adnan were set free,” police officer Azad Khan told Pakistan’s Express Tribune.

The statement contradicted a police report in April that said all 10 suspects were convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison. It is not clear why the police made an incorrect statement earlier.

Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head and critically injured in Pakistan’s Swat Valley on Oct. 9, 2012 while travelling from school to home, and was taken to a hospital in Britain to be treated after her condition stabilised.

Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack and continued to threaten her and her family afterwards.

Three days after the shooting a group of 50 Pakistani clerics issued a statement condemning the attack and that former Pakistani religious affairs minister Hamid Saeed Kazmi condemned Taliban saying Islam "holds the killing of one innocent person as killing the entirety of humanity."

Police said they filed an appeal to the court’s decision on May 18 but the suspects were released on April 30 following the verdict.

Since the attack Malala has been living in Birmingham, Britain.

Malala Yousafzai was awarded 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to help girls’ education in Pakistan.

TRTWorld and agencies