Monday 20 August 2018

Suspected child killer investigated in Pakistan over porn ring claims

Police say Mohammad Imran has confessed to eight killings, causing outrage across the nation.

Journalists and police surround a van carrying Mohammad Imran (K.M. Choudary/AP)
Journalists and police surround a van carrying Mohammad Imran (K.M. Choudary/AP)

By Munir Ahmed

Pakistani officials are investigating whether a suspect arrested over the deaths of eight girls was linked to an international child-porn ring.

The latest development came days after the arrest of Mohammad Imran, 24, in connection with the rape and killing of seven-year-old Zainab Ansari in the city of Kasur.

Zainab was assaulted and her body thrown in a rubbish dump there earlier this month, stirring outrage across Pakistan and bringing to light a string of other abductions and killings by a suspected serial predator.

Her parents were on a pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia when she went missing.

On Tuesday, police officials said the suspect had confessed to the murders. A judge at the Lahore High Court granted the police another week for the investigation.

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A van carrying Mohammad Imran who is accused of eight killings (K.M. Choudary/AP)

So far Imran, who will be tried before an anti-terrorism court, has not hired a lawyer to represent him. His trial, according to the Lahore court, is expected to last a week, with daily hearings.

Pakistan’s chief justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Thursday demanded a report from the investigators after a local TV programme alleged the suspect could be part of a gang that supplied porn videos of children to an international network.

Pakistan’s interior minister Ahsan Iqbal pledged to arrest all involved in the porn ring.

Zainab’s father, Mohammed Amin Ansari, has demanded that his daughter’s killer be publicly hanged.

However, Pakistani laws do not allow public hangings. Politicians in the upper house of parliament are divided over whether to reinstate public hangings.

There was only one instance in Pakistan’s 70-year history when convicts were publicly hanged: in 1979, under former dictator Ziaul Haq, four men were executed for killing a boy after assaulting him.

Press Association

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