It was widely reported in April that 10 Taliban terrorists involved in the attempted assassination of Pakistani student activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai were convicted in an anti-terrorism court.
However, according to a startling new revelation by multiple news outlets including the BBC, of those jailed, eight militants were “secretly” acquitted to avoid media pressure.
Suspicions already surrounded the credibility of the trial since access to public and press was prohibited, a senior (anonymous) Pakistani official told the Daily Mirror.
“The trial had absolutely no credibility as nobody was there to witness it but a public prosecutor, a judge, the army and the accused,” the source said. “Ten men are not behind bars for the crime, as the Pakistani authorities would have us believe. That is a big lie.”
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A separate source told the BBC that the trial was not even held at a court. It took place at a military facility:
“The authorities did not make the judgment available at any stage, nor did they correct the reports over the past two months that 10 men had been convicted.”
The latest reports go almost entirely against what the Pakistani authorities claimed almost a month ago. The fact that the eight terrorists – who were purportedly sentenced to 25 years in jail – are now at large raises serious questions and security concerns.
Yousafzai, now 17, was shot in the head and neck in an assassination attempt by Taliban gunmen on Oct. 9, 2012, leaving her seriously wounded. She was flown to Britain for medical treatment where she has remained since because of terrorist threats to kill her and her family members.