Laskar-e-Jhangvi militant gets 3 death sentences for abducting US doctor

 A member of the banned militant group Laskar-e-Jhangvi was on Wednesday awarded death penalty on three separate counts and slapped with a hefty fine of Rs 5 million by a Pakistani anti-terrorism court here for abducting an American doctor in 2011.

Lahore: A member of the banned militant group Laskar-e-Jhangvi was on Wednesday awarded death penalty on three separate counts and slapped with a hefty fine of Rs 5 million by a Pakistani anti-terrorism court here for abducting an American doctor in 2011.

US national Warren Weinstein was abducted from his Model Town residence here by convict Hafiz Imran and other armed attackers in 2011.

Lahore police subsequently arrested Imran, member of banned Laskar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) sectarian group, and produced him in the?anti-terrorism court Lahore.

An ATC judge in Lahore sentenced Imran on three counts - kidnapping for ransom, terrorism and trespassing with an intention to kill.

Imran has been asked to pay a fine of Rs 5 million.

In 2011, Al-Qaeda's chief Ayman Al-Zahawari had claimed in a video statement that Weinstein was in their custody and his organisation was responsible for the kidnapping.

In May 2012, Al-Qaeda had also released a video of his as proof that he was alive. The initial video was followed by three more videos in September 2012 and in December.

Weinstein is said to be held in North Waziristan by LeJ.

He had been in Pakistan for seven years and worked as the country director of Virginia-based development company J E Austin Associates. He went missing two days before he was due to end his term and return to the US.

Weinstein, in his 60s, was dependent on a number of medicines, including some given to acute asthma patients, Dawn reported.

During investigation, law enforcement agencies had apprehended Saifur Rehman and Imran who confessed to their crime and were sent to judicial lock up.

Rehman and Imran also told investigators about two other accused Afzaal Hussain and Imran Ahmed's involvement in the kidnapping.

Meanwhile, investigators received information that Afzaal was killed in an encounter with Mansehra police.

Later, local investigators had sent the challan of both arrested accused persons to an anti-terrorism court in Lahore, declaring them responsible for the kidnapping.

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