AFGHANISTAN. COURT DROPS TRIAL OF CHRISTIAN AMID DOUBTS OVER HIS MENTAL STATE
March 26, 2006: an Afghan court dropped its case against Abdul Rahman, a Christian who faced execution for converting from Islam, referring the matter to Kabul's top prosecutor for a final decision, court spokesman Wakil Omari said. The Supreme Court had decided not to pursue its case against Rahman after hearing testimony that he was mentally disturbed. The attorney general's office in the capital would decide if the case against Rahman, 41, should be pursued or dropped. Its investigation was likely to include medical tests, Omari said.
"The attorney general has the authority to either send back the case to this or any court or even can decide" to release him, Omari said.
The Supreme Court had said the previous week that Rahman must revert to Islam or face death according to Sharia Islamic law on which the country's constitution was partly based. He was arrested after his parents went to the authorities, reportedly following a family dispute.
"According to his relatives, his cousin Abdul Munir ... and his daughter, Maria, he's not mentally fit. He's mad," Omari said. "He himself has said that he hears strange voices in his head. His files have been sent back to the attorney general for further investigations." (Sources: Agence France Presse, 26/03/2006)