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The BBC's Mike Wooldridge
"A case that has deeply shocked the nation"
 real 28k

The BBC's Zaffar Abbas
"It is hard to imagine how this sort of sentence can be carried out in a public place."
 real 28k

Thursday, 16 March, 2000, 13:13 GMT
Death for Pakistan serial killer

Javed Iqbal and his accomplices being led out of court
A court in the Pakistani city of Lahore has found Javed Iqbal guilty of murdering 100 boys.

Iqbal, said to be the country's worst serial killer, and a co-accused were sentenced to death. Two others received jail terms.

You will be strangled to death in front of the parents whose children you killed

Judge Allah Bukhsh Ranjha
Judge Allah Bukhsh Ranjha invoked Islamic law, saying Iqbal and one of his co-accused deserved to die in the same manner as their victims.

"You will be strangled to death in front of the parents whose children you killed," he said.

"Your body will then be cut into 100 pieces and put in acid, the same way you killed the children."

Iqbal had confessed to killing the children and dissolving their bodies in acid-filled containers in a house in Lahore.

Iqbal's drama
December 1999
Confesses in letter
Surrenders to police

January 2000
Formally charged with murders

February 2000
Pleads not guilty
The judge announced the verdict to a packed court on Thursday after viewing a videotaped interview with Iqbal conducted at the time of his arrest.

However Pakistan's interior minister said such a sentence was not permitted, and would be challenged in the High Court.

Moinudeen Haider said: "We are signatories to the Human Rights Commission. Such punishments are not allowed."

Detective stories

Iqbal's lawyers are also planning to appeal against the verdict. They said he had not committed any murders and his confession was obtained under duress.

"Police threatened Iqbal during his three-week physical remand which resulted in the confessional statement recorded under duress," defence lawyer Abdul Baqi told the court.

Piles of children's clothes were recovered from Mr Iqbal's home
Mr Baqi claimed some of the missing children believed to have been killed by the accused had gone back to their homes.

Iqbal told the judge that his earlier admission had been a fake, based on Western detective stories.

He said he made up the confession to bring the issue of absconding boys and child sex to the government's notice.

The judge said he was not convinced by Iqbal's explanation.

Decomposed bodies

The prosecution produced 105 witnesses, including 73 family members of the missing children.

Police said they recovered the decomposed bodies of three children from Mr Iqbal's house.

They allegedly recovered several bundles of children's clothes and shoes from the premises, as well as an album of photographs of young boys.

Throughout the two-month trial, parents of the missing children gathered outside the courtroom, calling for the death sentence.

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16 Mar 00 | South Asia
Few executions in Pakistan
16 Mar 00 | South Asia
The mind of a killer
01 Mar 00 | South Asia
Eyewitness: Trying a serial killer
13 Jan 00 | South Asia
Pakistan 'serial killer confesses'
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