Islamabad: The Pakistani Judge who passed the death sentence on the assassination of Governor Salmaan Taseer on Tuesday went on an indefinite leave, a day after his courtroom was attacked by lawyers and hardline Islamic groups warned the government against implementing the verdict.
   
Judge Pervez Ali Shah of Rawalpindi's anti-terrorism court No II, who had convicted Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri for killing Taseer on Saturday, had gone on leave for an indefinite period, a news channel reported.
   
Shah had been receiving threats since the hearing of Qadri's case had started.
   
On Saturday, Shah awarded two death sentences to the self-confessed assassin of Taseer, on two counts of murder and terrorism.
   
Qadri, a police guard who was part of Taseer’s security detail, gunned down the outspoken Governor outside a restaurant in Islamabad in January for criticising Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy law.
   
The verdict triggered protests across the country and Islamic groups have said the implementation of the death sentence could spark further unrest.
   
A group of lawyers ransacked Shah’s courtroom and smashed windows during a protest on Monday. Shah was present in the courtroom at the time of the attack.


(Agencies)