The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Pak delays gangrape trial verdict

Dera Ghazi Khan (Pakistan), Aug. 27 (Reuters): A Pakistani court has delayed until Saturday a verdict in the high-profile trial of 14 men facing the death penalty over an alleged gangrape.

The judge at the special anti-terrorism court in the central town of Dera Ghazi Khan said he would not hand down his verdict until Saturday, police inspector Habib Khan said on leaving the courtroom today.

“The judge said it was lengthy judgment and will take time,” he said. The verdict had been expected today.

Four men have been on trial for rape and 10 members of a traditional village jury are also being tried on charges of authorising their alleged acts on June 22 in Meerawali, a small village near in the central province of Punjab.

The case caused an outcry when it was publicised in national newspapers to highlight the plight of women in rural areas, where feudal codes of behaviour still rule.

Security was tight in the town as the accused were brought to court in the morning for the verdict, which had been due yesterday after a 23-day trial.

More than a hundred relatives of the accused, both men and woman, sat outside the court compound, some of them reciting holy verses as they awaited the decision, witnesses said.

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