Relatives of a nine-month-old baby charged with attempted murder in Pakistan have taken him into hiding, a relative said on Tuesday, in a case that has thrown a spotlight on Pakistan's dysfunctional criminal justice system.
Mohammad Musa Khan appeared in court in the city of Lahore last week, charged with attempted murder along with his father and grandfather after a mob protesting against gas cuts and price increases stoned police and gas company workers trying to collect overdue bills.
"Police are vindictive. Now they are trying to settle the issue on personal grounds, that's why I sent my grandson to Faisalabad for protection," the baby's grandfather, Muhammad Yasin, told Reuters, referring to a central Pakistani city.
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A Pakistani lawyer taking the thumb impression from nine-month-old toddler Mohammad Musa Khan on a bail bond in Lahore on Saturday.
The baby is on bail and due to appear at the next hearing on April 12 but Yasin said he was not sure if he would take him to court for the case.
"There is immense pressure on me from various corners," he said.
At his first appearance in court last week, Musa cried while his fingerprints were taken by a court official. Later, the baby sucked on a bottle of milk and tried to grab journalists' microphones as his grandfather spoke to the media.
"He does not even know how to pick up his milk bottle properly, how can he stone the police?" Yasin asked journalists at the court last Thursday.
The baby was apparently charged because an assistant sub-inspector complained in a crime report that Musa's whole family had beaten him up and injured his head.
First published April 8 2014, 5:53 AM