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Wednesday, 15 March, 2000, 15:01 GMT
'100 death sentences' for serial killer
javed iqbal
Javed Iqbal's defence should begin this week
By Shahid Malik in Lahore

In the Pakistani city of Lahore, the special public prosecutor in the case of alledged mass murdered Javed Iqbal, summed up his case, asking for 100 death sentences - one for each child said to have been killed by him.

The public prosecutor, Asghar Rokari, dwelt at length on the relevance of Javed Iqbal's confession before a magistrate last month which, he argued, was still a valid piece of evidence.

Mr Rokari argued that circumstantial evidence in the case had been corroborated by at least two witnesses, who had seen the main accused in the company of some of the boys who went missing afterwards.

Circumstantial evidence

The circumstantial evidence, he recounted, included the clothes, shoes and photographs of the missing children identified in the trial court by more than 60 parents and close relatives.

police
Police search for remains down a drain
The special prosecutor also threw light on the previous conduct of Javed Iqbal against whom, he said, a criminal case for "carnal intercourse with young boys" was already pending in another court.

In view of his motives, the prosecutor said he should not be allowed the benefit of the fact that the dead bodies of the children in this case had been mostly destroyed and could not be used as evidence against him.

Prison sentences

While he pleaded for the death penalty for Mr Iqbal on a 100 counts to tally with the number of children he had allegedly killed, the special public prosecutor also pressed for a prison sentence for the three co-accused, who are still in their teens.

House
The remains of two children were found in Javed Iqbal's house
Another public prosecutor, Burhan Muazzam Malik, who briefly addressed the court, agreed that a minor could not be awarded a death sentence.

But he argued that there was evidence to suggest that the three boys standing in the dock had attained puberty which, as he put it, was synonymous with being an adult.

The defence lawyers are to present their arguments on Wednesday, when a complete video-recording of Mr Iqbal's interview at the time of his arrest in a newspaper office is also likely to be played.
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02 Mar 00 | South Asia
Taped 'confession' played to court
13 Jan 00 | South Asia
Pakistan 'serial killer confesses'
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