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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 October 2006, 11:04 GMT 12:04 UK
'No reprieve' for death row man
Mirza Tahir Hussain
Mirza Tahir Hussain was due to be hanged on Sunday
Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf has repeated that he cannot intervene in the decision of a court to execute a Leeds man on death row in his country.

Mirza Tahir Hussain, 36, was jailed in 1988 for killing a taxi driver and was due to be hanged on Sunday.

His conviction was quashed by the High Court in Pakistan. He was retried by an Islamic court and sentenced to death.

General Musharraf said on ITV's The Sunday Edition that he could not overturn the judgement.

"I am not a dictator," he said. "I cannot violate a court judgement, whether you like the court or not."

Oxford Union

Mirza Hussain was due to be hanged at 0500 BST on Sunday morning but it has not happened - reportedly because it is the holy month of Ramadan, when executions are not usually carried out.

His family in the UK staged a demonstration at the Oxford Union last week, where the President was addresssing students.

His brother Amjad, appearing live on ITV immediately after President Musharraf's recorded interview, said his statement "beggared belief".

"The President can pardon my brother if he chooses. He is empowered by the Pakistan constitution - it is nothing to do with dictatorship."

Brother 'suffered'

He told the BBC Asian Network earlier that the rollercoaster ride of emotion would now go on.

"My brother has suffered beyond belief," he said.

The Oxford demonstration was joined by Amnesty International's UK death penalty campaigner Sara MacNeice and Catherine Wolthuizen, the director of campaign group Fair Trials Abroad.

Earlier this year the Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett appealed to President Musharraf to halt the execution.

The Prime Minister Tony Blair is also believed to have raised the issue during recent talks at Chequers with President Musharraf.




SEE ALSO
Death row case 'to be reviewed'
12 Sep 06 |  West Yorkshire
Execution delay for death row man
16 Aug 06 |  West Yorkshire

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