By Umar Farooq and Jibran Ahmad
ISLAMABAD/PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) – Faisal Khan, a 15-year-old Pakistani, beams for selfies with lawyers and police. Thousands hail him in the streets as a “holy warrior.”
His claim to adulation? Allegedly gunning down in open court an American accused of blasphemy, a capital crime in this Islamic republic.
Khan is charged with murder, which also carries a death sentence. But while lawyers line up to defend him, the attorney for Tahir Naseem, the U.S. citizen, has gone into hiding.
The teen, according to officials and witnesses, got through three security checkpoints on his way into a courtroom in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on July 29, pulled out a pistol and fired multiple shots into Naseem, 57, at a bail hearing.