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Court to rule on bail for blasphemy teen

Islamabad -

A Pakistani court was scheduled to decide on Monday on the bail request for a teenaged Christian girl detained on charges of blasphemy against Islam.

Police escort blindfolded Muslim cleric Khalid Jadoon as he is brought before a judge at a court in Islamabad. Credit: REUTERS

The girl was arrested in an Islamabad slum after residents led by a cleric complained to police that she had burned pages of Qur’an on August 16.

But the case took a sharp turn on Sunday as police arrested the imam, Khalid Jadoon, on charges of planting false evidence to implicate the girl, who is said to have Down Syndrome.

The cleric faces blasphemy charges after a witness came forward with evidence that Jadoon had fabricated the evidence.

The age and mental condition of the girl is in doubt, with the family saying that she is 11 while police insisted she was 16.

A panel of doctors who examined her last week said she was under 14 and had a lower IQ than most children of her age.

Analysts said she could be released on the basis of the new evidence against her accuser. - Sapa-dpa

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