Zainab murder case: ATC sentences Imran Ali to 4 death sentences

Ali was arrested in January, two weeks after the body of 7-year-old Zainab Ansari was found in a garbage dump in Kasur, about 340 kilometers (210 miles) south of the Pakistani capital, Islamabad. Her death brought rampaging mobs onto the streets in search of her killer.

Prosecutors say Imran, 24, is a serial killer who has also admitted to killing several other children.

Residents of Kasur have said the murder of the seven-year-old girl was the 12th such incident in a year.

Imran Ali is sentenced to death on four counts but Zainab's mother deems this as insufficient for the crimes he committed.

"When he was read the charges, we asked the court to let Imran Ali deliberate the matter for 40 minutes", the prosecutor said.

Legal experts pointed out that despite the ATC verdict, the convict Imran Ali is granted right to appeal against the decision.

In addition to the verdict, Zainab's family will receive one million Pakistani rupees in compensation by the attacker. Two people were killed after riots broke out in Kasur.

The trial in the case was concluded on Thursday when ATC-I Judge Sajjad Ahmad reserved the verdict after cross examination of all the prosecution witnesses completed by state counsel Muhammad Sultan who was appointed by the trial court to represent the suspect, Imran Ali.

Seven-year-old Zainab Ansari went missing on January 4 on her way back to home from maternal aunt's house. CCTV footage obtained by the family shows the girl walking with a stranger and holding his hand. The Government of Punjab indicated n that sample taken with Ali "corresponded 100%" with remains found in girl, and that defendant confessed crime after having undergone test of polygraph. The same area had already been center of a juvenile abuse scandal in 2015, when it was discovered that at least 19 children were videotaped and photographed by a network of 17 people, two of m sentenced to life imprisonment in 2016.

A total of 1,764 cases of child abuse were reported across Pakistan in the first six months of 2017, according to Sahil, an organization that works on child protection.

  • Jon Douglas