Rawalpindi, Sept 18: Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri has pleaded guilty before an anti-terrorism court in the Salmaan Taseer murder case, saying that he had killed the then Punjab Governor on January 4 for his 'blasphemous' statements.
Taseer was assassinated by Qadri, one of his own elite security force protectors, because of his vocal opposition to the blasphemy law that was recently used to sentence a Pakistani-Christian woman, Asia Bibi, to death.
During an in-camera trial of the case at Rawalpindi's Adiyala Jail, the ATC judge recorded Qadri's statement.
Qadri's counsel Raja Shuja-ur-Rehman told reporters outside the prison that his client had admitted to killing Taseer, and that nobody had instigated him to do so, the Dawn reports.
He said that Qadri had also submitted a written statement of 40 pages, containing verses from the holy Quran, quotations from the life of the Prophet, four decisions of the Caliphs and views of Hanafi, Shafai, Maliki, Hanbali and Jafria schools of thought from the Islamic jurisprudence about blasphemy under section 265-F (5) of the CrPC.
Qadri contended that Taseer had committed blasphemy under these references and, every person who committed such act or supported a blasphemer or doubted that the punishment of blasphemer was unjustified or practically tried to abolish sentence for commission of blasphemy, was liable to death.
The defence lawyer said the prosecution raised no objection to the statement, therefore, the judge admitted the statement and made it a part of the court record.
Raja Shuja said Taseer was a national leader and his personal conduct was public property, and that every citizen had a right to question a leader's conduct.
The hearing of the case has been adjourned till September 24.