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Published on 21 Jul 2015 | about 1 year ago


A court in Pakistan has sentenced a man to death for murdering 100 children in the country's worst serial killing rampage.

The court announced he would be strangled in front of the parents of his victims.

The judge ordered that 42-year-old Javed Iqbal be publicly executed in a park in the eastern city, Lahore, suffering a similar fate to his victims.

Javed Iqbal initially confessed to killing 100 children in a letter sent last year to police.

Iqbal said he strangled the children, dismembered their bodies and placed them in a vat of acid.

He later retracted his confession.

The children were apparently sexually abused before being killed.

Iqbal's letter led police to his home where they found a blue vat in which the remains of two bodies were found.

Police also found pictures of a hundred children, whom Iqbal confessed in his letter to having killed.

In handing down the sentence, Judge Allah Baksh Ranja told Javed Iqbal would suffer a similar fate to his victims.

He will be strangled to death in front of the parents of the children he killed, his body will then be cut into a hundred pieces and put in acid.

The judge also sentenced Iqbal to seven hundred years in prison for destroying evidence - seven years for each of the hundred bodies he is said to have destroyed by dissolving them in acid.

SOUNDBITE: (English)
"He should be strangulated as he has committed the murders of 100 children. And the court has decided that this should take place in front of relatives of the deceased. And after death the dead body should be cut into 100 pieces and the dead body should be put into the formula that was described by him in the statement."
SUPER CAPTION: Allah Baksh Ranjha, Presiding Judge

Iqbal has pleaded innocent and his lawyer says he will appeal the verdict.

SOUNDBITE: (English)
"In the appeal I think there is a very good case for the accused. I will prove the judgement is highly doubtable."
SUPER CAPTION: Fasial Najeeb, Defence Lawyer

During his trial, Iqbal testified that he was only a witness to the killings.

He said his earlier confession in a letter sent to police was intended as a message to the parents of the missing children, whom he accused of neglect.

Some of Iqbal's victims had been missing for more than six months before their parents reported their disappearance to police.

The trial generated strong emotions in Pakistan, where such cases of serial killings are rare.

"It was the right decision because if this decision hadn't been taken then the general public would have been very afraid. But now the general public is reassured and knows the true value of human life."
SUPER CAPTION: Sheik Mahmood, Vox Pop

Throughout the trial parents of the missing children held a vigil outside the courtroom, screaming abuse at Iqbal and demanding the death sentence.

The severe manner in which the death sentence is to be carried out, mimicking what Iqbal did to his victims, is the first of its kind in Pakistan.

SOUNDBITE: (English)
(Reporter's question) "Never before such a judgement has been passed"
"No I think not "
SUPER CAPTION: Fasial Najeeb, Defence Lawyer

On December 30 last year Iqbal walked into the Lahore office of a leading newspaper and turned himself in.

He refused to go directly to the police saying he feared for his life.

Iqbal's three young accomplices, including a 13-year-old boy identified only as Sabir, were also found guilty.

One accomplice, identified only as 17-year-old Sajjid, who was found guilty on 98 counts of murder, was sentenced to death and 686 years in prison.

Sabir was spared the death penalty, but received a 42-year prison sentence.

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