Top court stays execution of mentally ill man

ISLAMABAD (AP) – Pakistan’s Supreme Court has suspended the execution of a mentally ill former policeman sentenced to death in 2003 for killing a fellow officer.

According to a statement, Chief Justice Saqib Nisar in the city of Lahore also ordered a new hearing in the case of Khizar Hayat, whose execution had been scheduled for January 15.

Hayat was first diagnosed with schizophrenia by prison authorities and a court-assigned medical board back in 2008 and in 2015.

The chief justice said last Saturday that Hayat’s case was an issue of human rights and needed to be heard urgently.

A two-judge panel will hear Hayat’s mother’s petition for his life today.

Justice Project Pakistan, which campaigns against the death sentence, welcomed the top court’s decision.