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The Afghan man facing a possible death sentence for converting from Islam to Christianity scored a victory today when a court in Kabul dismissed the case against him.
Under mounting pressure from countries including the United States to free Abdul Rahman, officials cited a lack of evidence in their decision to drop the case.
One official told the Associated Press the case had been returned to the prosecutors for more investigation, but Rahman would be released in the meantime.
“The court dismissed today the case against Abdul Rahman for a lack of information and a lot of legal gaps in the case,” the official told AP on condition of anonymity.
“The decision about his release will be taken possibly tomorrow,” the official added. “They don’t have to keep him in jail while the attorney general is looking into the case.”
Abdul Wakil Omeri, a spokesman for the Supreme Court, confirmed the case was dismissed because of “problems with the prosecutors’ evidence.”
“It is the job of the attorney general’s office to decide if he is mentally fit to stand trial,” he told AP.
Questions are reportedly being raised on whether or not Rahman would stay in Afghanistan, or face exile in another country.
The constitution in Afghanistan is based on Sharia law, which states any Muslim who rejects his or her religion should be sentenced to death.
If he had been sentenced, Rahman would have been the first person punished for leaving Islam since the Taliban was ousted by American-led forces in late 2001.
An Afghan Christian in the U.S. who has regular contact with Christians in his home country through his ministry, posted a video clip of Rahman on his website.
Rahman says in the clip, according to Andaryas: “The punishment by hanging? I will accept it gladly, but I am not an infidel. I am not a traitor. I am a follower of Jesus.”
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