RAWALPINDI, Pakistan (AP) — More than three dozen people outside a Pakistan prison cheered the confessed killer of a prominent liberal politician as he appeared before an anti-terror court.
The supporters carried pictures of 26-year-old Mumtaz Qadri and sang Islamic verses outside the prison in Rawalpindi where the court was convened on Monday.
Qadri has confessed to killing Punjab province Gov. Salman Taseer because of his criticism of Pakistani laws that mandate the death sentence for insulting Islam. Qadri was working as Taseer’s bodyguard when he shot him.
Tens of thousands of Pakistanis have staged demonstrations supporting Qadri, a sign of growing hardline Islamic beliefs in the country.
Qadri’s lawyer Shuja Rehman Raja says the judge set Feb. 1 as the date his client will be formally charged.