KARACHI - An Anti-Terrorism Court on Monday issued a fresh black warrant for the execution of condemned prisoner Shafqat Hussain and directed jail authorities to send him to the gallows on August 4 at the Karachi Central Prison.

The jail authorities approached the trial court through an application before

Ramazan for the issuance of fresh warrant for execution of condemned prisoner by submitting that the court issued last warrant on June 1 and fixed June 9 for hanging. However, the execution was postponed hours before the scheduled time, they added.

A court official earlier said the application was not taken up since a moratorium was imposed on executions during the holy month, adding, that the court was likely to issue a fresh warrant on Saturday.

A trial court (ATC-III) judge issued fresh black warrants for Shafqat on Monday with directives to hang him till death on August 4 at 4:00 am under the supervision of a judicial magistrate, and submit a compliance report after executing him.

Shafqat was sentenced to death by an Anti-Terrorism Court in September 2004 after he was found guilty of killing a seven-year-old boy after abducting him for ransom in April 2004 in New Town.

The Sindh High Court had upheld the death sentence in the crime of kidnapping for ransom and set aside the conviction in the premeditated murder by converting it into manslaughter. The Supreme Court also dismissed his appeal in October 2007, while his review petition was also turned down by the apex court in December 2007. The President rejected his mercy petition in July 2012.

The condemned prisoner has been dodging death since 2012 as implementation of black warrants, which have repeatedly been issued by the trial court, were stayed because certain non-governmental organisations and the media raised their voice against his scheduled hanging on the ground that he was allegedly an underage person -14 years old - at the time of the commissioning of the offence.