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Asia Bibi's lawyer returns to Pakistan ahead of appeal decision

A lawyer who represented Asia Bibi during her successful bid to overturn a death sentence for blasphemy has returned to Pakistan to support her, an MP has claimed.

Saif ul-Malook flew from Amsterdam in the Netherlands at the weekend, according to a tweet published by the Dutch politician Joël Voordewind.

The message, translated by the AFP news agency, said: "This afternoon [Saturday], I escorted Asia Bibi's lawyer, Mr Malook to Schipol Airport.

"He's going back to Pakistan to hopefully represent Asia for the last time in her case."

Mr ul-Malook was granted temporary stay in the Netherlands last year after fleeing for his life from Pakistan in the wake of Asia Bibi's acquittal.

The lawyer claimed he had been inundated with threats. Ms Bibi's acquittal prompted demonstrations by hard-line Islamists who said she ought to be publicly executed.

According to lawyers, a court will decide on Tuesday whether to allow an appeal against the Supreme Court's decision to clear the Christian mother-of-five.

Bibi spent eight years on death row after being convicted in 2010 of insulting the Islamic prophet Mohammad. She was then acquitted in October but has not been able to leave the country.

Speaking in London in November 2018, Mr ul-Malooksaid he had no regrets about representing Ms Bibi.

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