Pakistan gives 3 death sentences to US citizen's kidnapper

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Lahore, Jan 7: A Pakistani man, accused of abducting a US doctor in 2011, was today given three death sentences and slapped with a hefty fine of Rs 5 million by an anti-terrorism court here.

US national Warren Weinstein was abducted from his residence in Lahore by convict Hafiz Imran and other attackers. An ATC judge in Lahore sentenced Imran on three counts -- kidnapping for ransom, terrorism and trespassing with an intention to kill. Imran has been asked to pay a fine of Rs 5 million.

Pakistan gives three death sentences to US citizen's kidnapper

Weinstein had been in Pakistan for seven years and worked as the country director of Virginia-based development company J E Austin Associates. He went missing two days before he was due to end his term and return to the US. Weinstein, in his 60s, was dependent on a number of medicines, including some given to acute asthma patients, Dawn reported.

During investigation, law enforcement agencies had apprehended Saifur Rehman and Imran who confessed to their crime and were sent to judicial lock up. In 2011, Al Qaeda's chief Ayman Al Zahawari had claimed in a video that Weinstein was in their custody and his organisation was responsible for the kidnapping.

There were also some reports that Weinstein was being held in North Waziristan by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. In May 2012, Al Qaeda had also released a video of his as proof that he was alive. The initial video was followed by three more videos in September 2012 and in December.

Rehman and Imran also told investigators about two other accused Afzaal Hussain and Imran Ahmed's involvement in the kidnapping. Meanwhile, investigators received information that Afzaal was killed in an encounter with Mansehra police.

Later, local investigators had sent the challan of both arrested accused persons to an anti-terrorism court in Lahore, declaring them responsible for the kidnapping. 

PTI

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