Malala Yousafzai: 8 Convicted in Case Freed After Winning Appeal

by Henry Austin and Mushtaq Yusufzai /  / Updated 

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PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Eight of the 10 Taliban militants convicted for their roles in the attempted assassination of Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai have been cleared after appealing the case.

Salim Marwat, a police chief in Pakistan’s Swat Valley where the teen was shot in the head in 2012, told NBC News that after "eight people have been freed due to lack of proper proof and evidence against them."

In April, anti-terrorism judge Mohammad Amin Kundi found the 10 men guilty over the "planning and execution" of the attack and sentenced each of them to 25 years in jail.

Syed Naeem Khan, a prosecutor who worked on the case, said all 10 "confessed to their roles in the shooting before the judge."

However, they appealed the guilty verdict and the eight were subsequently acquitted.

"Like other people, I don't understand why the two were only convicted," Khan added. "Why not all the 10 who had confessed their involvement in the attack on Malala?"

Prosecutors are now appealing the judge's decision.

The trial was held at a military facility due to security concerns.

Pakistan's Taliban claimed responsibility for the 2012 attack on the education activist, who last year became the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner when she shared the award with Indian children's rights advocate Kailash Satyarthi.

Now 17, Yousafzai was gravely wounded in the Oct. 9, 2012, attack. She was taken to Britain for long-term treatment, including several surgeries. She remains in the country.

Henry Austin reported from London.

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