Page last updated at 15:42 GMT, Monday, 20 November 2006

Death row man adjusts to freedom

Mirza Tahir Hussain and his brother Amjad Hussain
Amjad Hussain said his brother needed to adjust to his freedom

A Leeds man who is back in the UK after 18 years on death row in Pakistan has enjoyed his first days of freedom with walks in the Yorkshire countryside.

Mirza Tahir Hussain, 36, arrived at Heathrow Airport on Friday night, less than a day after Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf commuted his sentence.

He was convicted in 1988 of murdering a taxi-driver but has always maintained the killing was in self-defence.

His brother Amjad said the family's reunion had been very emotional.

"My mother clung to my brother for a good few minutes, she wouldn't let go of him," he said.

"The hug was like they were part and parcel of one entity.

"I know it's been a terrible ordeal but thank God it's all over now."

He knows that it's going to take a while to adjust back to normal life
BBC correspondent Sanjiv Buttoo

Mr Hussain is staying in a secret location in the north of England while he adjusts to life outside of prison.

During his first weekend of freedom he spent time with BBC Asian Network correspondent Sanjiv Buttoo, who said Mr Hussain was "a little shell-shocked" by recent events.

"He's very quiet, he's very realistic and he knows that it's going to take a while to adjust back to normal life," he said.

"He's quite a private person and he's quite embarrassed by all the media attention."

Originally acquitted of murder by Pakistan's High Court, an Islamic court sentenced Mr Hussain to death in 1998.

His execution was stayed several times, most recently until the end of this year.

Authorities had hoped a blood-money settlement, permitted under Islamic law, could be reached with the dead man's family.

The family of the victim have said they plan to appeal against the decision to commute Mr Hussain's sentence.

SEE ALSO
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