Pakistan Court Drops Attempted Murder Case Against Baby

Image: A Pakistani lawyer taking the thumb impression from nine-month-old toddler Mohammad Musa
A Pakistani lawyer taking the thumb impression from nine-month-old toddler Mohammad Musa on a bail bond in Lahore on April 3, 2014. While many children of his age are still learning how to crawl, a nine-month-old boy in Pakistan has been accused of attempted murder in a case observers say highlights endemic flaws in the country's legal system. Baby Mohammad Musa along with his father and other family members was booked for throwing rocks at gas company officials in the working-class Ahata Thanedaran neighbourhood on February 1, the family's lawyer Chaudhry Irfan Sadiq told AFP. AFP - Getty Images

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A court in Pakistan has withdrawn charges of attempted murder against nine-month-old baby Musa Khan, it was reported Saturday, the latest development in a case that provoked widespread ridicule.

The boy appeared in court in the city of Lahore Saturday, sitting on his grandfather's lap and drinking from a bottle of milk, according to television pictures.

He was charged along with his family last week after a mob protesting against gas cuts and price increases stoned police and gas company workers trying to collect overdue bills.

Musa Khan was shown on television at a court in Lahore on Saturday.

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.

The baby's grandfather, Muhammad Yasin, and his three sons still face the charges, but the young boy will not, officials told the family. "Police told the court that the nomination of Musa in the case of attacking police and gas company officials was a human error and Musa is not required," defense lawyer Irfan Sadiq told Reuters.

The BBC reported that the boy’s grandfather asked journalists covering the case: "He doesn't even know how to pick up his milk bottle properly. How can he stone the police?"

Pictures taken at an earlier court hearing of Musa crying as he was being fingerprinted prompted officials to call for an inquiry.

- Alastair Jamieson