لینک های دسترسی

Afghan Aid Workers' Trial Enters Final Stage - 2001-10-13


The defense has presented its closing arguments in the trial of eight foreign aid workers charged with trying to spread Christianity in Afghanistan.

Defense lawyer Atif Ali Khan told reporters he presented his written arguments to the Taleban chief justice on Saturday (today). The attorney said he will return to the court Sunday morning to answer any questions from the Muslim cleric presiding over the trial.

The Pakistani lawyer said he is optimistic the case will end with the eight defendants being released. He said his clients were happy with his closing argument when he met with them this morning. Taleban officials have promised the foreign aid workers they will receive a fair trial, despite the U-S -led air strikes against military targets and terrorist facilities in Afghanistan.

The defendants -- four Germans, two Americans and two Australians -- were arrested in early August on charges of trying to convert Muslims to Christianity, a serious crime under the Taleban's strict interpretation of Islamic law. The eight employees of the German-based organization Shelter Now have denied the charges.

Sixteen Afghans also were arrested and face a separate trial on similar charges.

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