26 Oct 2011

Judge in Saudi Arabia after getting death threats

11:01 am on 26 October 2011

A Pakistani judge who convicted a Muslim extremist of murder has reportedly fled to Saudi Arabia after getting death threats.

Pervez Ali Shah issued the death sentence to Malik Mumtaz Hussein Qadri for killing Punjab Governor Salman Taseer in January.

Qadri said he believed Governor Taseer was undermining blasphemy laws, which may lead to execution for people convicted of insulting the Prophet.

The Lahore High Court later denied Judge Shah had fled. A spokesman said that he had taken temporary leave in order to go on a pilgrimage.

But the BBC reports Qadri prosecutor Saiful Malook said the government had sent Judge Shah abroad.

A BBC correspondent says that his fate will serve as a warning to other judges willing to take on the task of tackling extremism in Pakistan.