The court adjourned hearing of the blasphemy case on Thursday and granted bail to the prayer leader following the submission of a surety bond worth of Rs200,000. As the court began hearing of the case on Thursday, Jadoon’s lawyer Wajid Gilani argued that all the witnesses against his client have backtracked from their statements and now the police have no evidence of his involvement in the case.
Hence, his client be granted bail. The court ordered police to release the cleric immediately following submission of surety bonds. Outside the court, family and friends of the prayer leader welcomed the court decision.
The cleric was accused of adding pages from the Holy Quran to te ashes seized from Rimsha allegedly in an attempt to implicate her and was sent to jail on a 14-day judicial remand by a magistrate.
However, the case turned in favour of the prayer leader following the backtracking of three witnesses who had testified against the cleric. During last hearing of the case, the same District and Sessions Court in Islamabad reserved judgment over a bail plea filed by the prayer leader Khalid Jadoon Chishti, implicated in a blasphemy case against Rimsha, and adjourned hearing until October 11.
As the court on last Wednesday had asked the counsel of Khalid Jadoon, the prayer leader, to wait until Islamabad High Court stay order was over.
Earlier, the three witnesses who had testified against Chishti had withdrawn their statements, insisting that the police had “coerced” them into doing so.
In their affidavits before the court, the witnesses Hafiz Owais, Khurram Shahzad and Danish Ahmed had reneged from their previously-recorded statements, claiming these were recorded under duress.
According to their new affidavits, they did not see prayer leader Chishti desecrating pages from the Holy Quran. Khalid Chaudhary Advocate told TheNation that, withdrawing of the earlier statements of eyewitnesses who had testified against the prayer leader, may earn Khalid Jadoon post-arrest bail.