Lawyer demands release of reporter on death rowwww.britishblogs.uk
KABUL: The lawyer of an Afghan reporter sentenced to death on blasphemy charges accused authorities yesterday of holding his client beyond a legal deadline.
The appeal of Perwiz Kambakhsh — arrested last October and sentenced to death by a primary court in January — has been repeatedly delayed because witnesses who testified against him earlier did not turn up to court.
“Based on the law, an appeal court can hold a suspect only for two months. Within this two months, it either should rule or otherwise the suspect must be freed,” lawyer Mohamed Afzal Shormach Nuristani told reporters in Kabul.
“The detention of my client, Mr Kambakhsh, is against the law,” he said.
The reporter, who is in his early 20s, has alleged torture during custody and said the first trial lasted only minutes and he was not given legal representation.
The most recent was in June when Nuristani said he challenged the court to present the 12 witnesses who had allegedly testified against Kambakhsh in a primary court in his home town in the north, Mazar-i-Sharif.
“They can’t hold my client because the witnesses don’t turn up.
This is against the law,” Nuristani said.
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