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Last Updated: Monday, 10 July 2006, 07:49 GMT 08:49 UK
Stay expires for death row Briton
By Barbara Plett
BBC correspondent, Islamabad

Mirza Tahir Hussain
Mirza Tahir Hussain may win another reprieve
A one-month stay of execution has expired for a British man on death row in Pakistan.

Mirza Tahir Hussain, from Leeds, has been sentenced to hang for killing a Pakistani taxi driver 18 years ago.

His execution was postponed after interventions by British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett and members of the European parliament.

Mirza Tahir Hussain might still win one more month's reprieve but it is by no means certain he will escape death.

Mr Hussain has spent 18 years in prison here for a killing he claims was self-defence.

After several trials, Pakistan's High Court threw out his guilty verdict, citing flawed evidence.

Islamic law

But Mr Hussain was then retried by an Islamic court which sentenced him to death.

Under Islamic law the family of the victim can accept blood money rather than death.

Pakistan's President, Pervez Musharraf, has granted time for negotiating such an agreement and he put senior members of his ruling party on the case.

But so far the family has rejected any deal and the president says he does not have the power to pardon those convicted by an Islamic court.


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