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Baby accused of attempted murder cleared

Nine-month-old Musa Khan was charged with murder last week Credit: Reuters

A judge in Pakistan has freed a nine-month-old boy who was accused of attempted murder after charges against him were dropped.

The judge announced the decision after a court hearing during which police in the eastern city of Lahore said they had dropped the charge against the boy, lawyer Irfan Tarar said.

The toddler was taken to court last Friday as part of an investigation of an incident where residents in his neighbourhood clashed with police.

Mr Tarar said officers had registered the case against the youngster and his family members without investigating and the judge had sought an explanation.

More: Baby charged with attempted murder goes into hiding

Baby charged with attempted murder goes into hiding

Nine-month-old Musa Khan, charged with attempted murder in Pakistan. Credit: Reuters

A Pakistani infant who appeared in court after authorities accused the nine-month-old boy, along with other members of his family, of attempted murder on police personnel in Lahore has gone into hiding.

Nine-month-old Mohammad Musa Khan appeared in court in the city of Lahore last week charged with attempted murder alongside 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.

The boy's grandfather, Muhammad Yasin, told Reuters that he had sent him to Faisalabad - a city in central Pakistan - for protection.

Musa's tiny hand was fingerprinted by Lahore police. Credit: Reuters

"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.

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Luhansk: Separatists hold 60 people in building

An armed man, believed to be a pro-Russian protester, stands guard at a building in Luhansk. Credit: Reuters

Ukrainian security services say pro-Russian separatists have placed explosives in a seized building in Luhansk and are holding around 60 people against their will.

"The anti-terror group of the security services of Ukraine (SBU) .. has established that the criminals have mined the building...and are holding around 60 people, threatening them with weapons and explosives," the SBU said in a statement.

More: Kerry: 'Russian agents' behind unrest in Ukraine

Former Pakistan president charged with treason

The former president of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, today pleaded not guilty to five charges of treason.

The former military ruler faces the death penalty if he is convicted of the charges, which relate to his suspension of the Pakistani constitution and bringing in emergency rule in 2007.

Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf Credit: Ian Nicholson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Court cuts sentence for doctor who helped find bin Laden

A court in Pakistan reduced the jail term handed down to a Pakistani doctor who helped the US track down al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden by 10 years, according to Reuters.

Shakil Afridi was arrested after US soldiers killed bin Laden in May 2011 in a raid in a northern Pakistani town that outraged Pakistan and plunged relations between the strategic partners to a new low.

Pakistan tells the US to respect their laws after doctor helped the CIA find Osama Bin Laden Credit: ITV News

A court in the city of Peshawar reduced his sentence to 23 years following repeated calls by the United States and his legal team for his release.

Read: US attack Osama bin Laden doctor sentence

"We will receive a complete court order on Monday and will then challenge it at the FATA Tribunal," said Afridi's lawyer, Qamar Nadeem, referring to a higher tribal court.

Pakistan has accused the doctor of running a fake vaccination campaign in which he collected DNA samples to help the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency track down bin Laden.

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British man sentenced to death after dispute with tenant

The family of the British pensioner that has been sentenced to death in Pakistan for blasphemy has revealed the complaint was brought against him by a tenant, with whom he was having a dispute.

Mohammed Asghar's family released a statement through legal charity Reprieve stating he had been jailed pending a trial "as a result of a property dispute" with one of his tenants.

"We, his family, want him released by the Pakistani government so he can be treated appropriately for his medical condition," they said.

"We are really upset and concerned that they will never release him and that he will die in jail," they added.

A petition on change.org, addressed to Prime Minister David Cameron and Scotland First Minister Alex Salmond, is calling for Asghar's release. The Scottish Government said it was in touch with the Foreign Office about the case.

British man sentenced to death in Pakistan 'barely lucid'

A British pensioner sentenced to death in Pakistan for blasphemy is in urgent need of mental health treatment, legal charity Reprieve has said.

Lawyers for Mohammed Asghar told campaigners at the charity Reprieve that he was in very poor health and appeared "pale, dehydrated, shaking and barely lucid."

Asghar was arrested in 2010 near Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, for claiming to be the Prophet Mohammed.

He was convicted last week but his family is appealing for him to be released from custody in order to receive medical help as he suffers from mental illness and was treated for paranoid schizophrenia in Edinburgh before returning to Pakistan in 2010.

"We are extremely worried about Mr Asghar's mental health, which appears to have seriously deteriorated," said Maya Foa, director of Reprieve's death penalty team, adding he is being put in "a perilous position" without correct medication.

Read: UK condemns Pakistan's death sentence for British man

Lawyer fears for health of Brit sentenced to death

A British pensioner with a history of severe mental illness has been sentenced to death in Pakistan after being found guilty of breaching the country’s blasphemy laws.

Protesters pictured in 2011 over Pakistan's blasphemy laws. Credit: Reuters

According to the Independent, Mohammad Ashgar from Edinburgh, was sectioned under the Mental Health Act in 2010 after developing psychotic symptoms following a stroke in 2000.

His lawyer, who did not want to be identified, told the newspaper: “He is receiving no care for his mental condition or receiving prescribed medication. He was taken out of his individual cell and stuffed in with several other people in a very cramped cell.

"He keeps threatening to commit suicide and we are very worried about him.”

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