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Pakistan Delays British Convict's Execution


Jail officials in Pakistan say the execution of a British national condemned to death for murder has been delayed until the end of the year.

Officials at Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi say they have received orders to set aside plans to execute Mirza Tahir Hussain on November 1.

The 36-year-old Briton was convicted of murdering a taxi driver in 1988, although he maintains the driver tried to sexually assault him at gunpoint. Hussain has been in Pakistani custody ever since, awaiting his execution, which was postponed several times.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Wednesday that he personally raised his concerns about the execution to Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, during his recent visit to Britain.

Mr. Blair says there is a limit to what General Musharraf can do, but that his government will continue to make recommendations for clemency right up to the last moment.

A Pakistani high court revoked Hussain's death sentence in the 1990s, but an Islamic "Sharia" court later reinstated the penalty.

British authorities, human rights groups and Hussain's family have called for his release, on the grounds that his original trial was unfair.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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