Pakistan's top court stays execution of mentally ill man

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan's Supreme Court has suspended the execution of a mentally ill former policeman sentenced to death in 2003 for killing a fellow officer.

According to a statement, Chief Justice Saqib Nisar in the city of Lahore also ordered a new hearing in the case of Khizar Hayat, whose execution had been scheduled for Jan. 15.

Hayat was first diagnosed with schizophrenia by prison authorities and a court-assigned medical board back in 2008 and in 2015.

The chief justice said on Saturday that Hayat's case was an issue of human rights and needed to be heard urgently. A two-judge panel will hear Hayat's mother's petition for his life on Monday.

Justice Project Pakistan, which campaigns against the death sentence, welcomed the top court's decision.

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