Pakistani Punjab governor killer sentenced to death

October 1, 2011 09:00

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan - A Pakistani court sentenced to death on Saturday the killer of the governor of Pakistan's largest province, a defense lawyer said.

"He has been given the death sentence," Shuja-ur-Rehman told Reuters.

Mumtaz Qadri believed he was enforcing divine law by murdering a blasphemer when he killed Punjab Governor Salman Taseer on Jan. 4. The killer, one of the governor's bodyguards, was viewed as a hero by many Pakistanis, highlighting how deeply religious extremism has penetrated mainstream Pakistani society.

Taseer had been calling for reform of Pakistan's harsh blasphemy law.

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