Aasia Bibi case hearing postponed to April 14

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LAHORE: A special division bench of the Lahore High Court on Wednesday postponed till April 14 the hearing of an appeal of condemned prisoner Aasia Bibi, who belongs to the Christian community.
The bench put off the hearing till April 14 as counsel for the complainant did not appear before the court. The trail court had awarded death sentence to the lady on blasphemy charges. Complainant, Muhammad Salam had alleged that on June 14, 2009 at a Falsa garden owned by one Idress in Nanankana Sahib Aasia Bibi committed blasphemy. He said that he had not heard her uttering the blasphemous remarks but other ladies Asma Bibi, her sister Mafia Bibi, and Yasmin listened her saying and told him about the incident. He also alleged that locals Muhammad Afzal and Mukhtar Ahmed summoned the accused and witnesses where the accused confessed her crime and begged pardon. He said she had hurt their religious sentiments and she should be tried under blasphemy articles and should be brought to the book.
Yasif Badar, one of the counsels of Aasia Bibi said that Aasia had categorically rejected the story of the complainant. He said that Asma and Mafia are real sisters and falsely involved her in this case as they both felt disgrace and dishonour on the basis of altercation and hard words extended to them by her when they denied drinking water brought by her for them. 
He said that the ladies had denied drinking water saying that they would not take it because she is a Christian. 
He said that Aasia’s forefathers were living in this village since creation of Pakistan but no such complaint against them ever exists. 
The other counsel Anis AA Saadie said that before the trial court eight witnesses recorded their statements against Aasia but not a single witness dared to defend Aasia before the court even from the Christians. 
He said the lower court sentenced her for being under pressure and it was the case with investigation officer. He requested to acquit the lady as being innocent.

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