State Demands Death Penalty for Pakistan's Sharif
A Pakistani prosecutor Wednesday demanded the death penalty for ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif instead of the life term handed down in April for hijacking and terrorism.
"Our plea is to award him a normal sentence in the hijacking case which is the death sentence," said prosecutor Raja Qureshi, concluding his arguments in the government's appeal against the life term.
Sharif was given life on April 6 for trying to stop a jet carrying General Pervez Musharraf and 198 other passengers from landing in Pakistan on the night of the October 12 coup last year.
"The anti-terrorism court awarded a lesser punishment without giving any reasons, keeping in view the seriousness of the crime," Qureshi said.
"The Supreme Court has said the moment a plane is forcibly diverted the hijacking is completed."
Sharif, who has also appealed against the verdict, has argued he had the authority to divert the jet.
Dangerously low on fuel, the plane landed only after the army took control of Karachi airport and Musharraf, whom Sharif had replaced hours earlier as army chief, seized power and declared himself chief executive of the country.
The hearing of the state's appeal against Sharif's sentence will resume on Thursday with arguments from the defense.
Its appeal against the acquittal of six co-accused, including Sharif's brother Shahbaz, was completed on Tuesday.
Verdicts on all three appeals are expected to be announced together at a date yet to be set -- KARACHI (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)