Nine-Month-Old Pakistani Baby Won’t Go to Prison

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
April 12 2014 1:08 PM

Nine-Month-Old Pakistani Baby Won’t Go to Prison

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Nine month Pakistan toddler Mohammed Musa is held by his grandfather Mohammed Yasin at a lawyer chamber after a court hearing in Lahore on April 12

Photo by Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images

Well that’s a relief. Seems we can all agree that infants can't commit murder. Nine-month-old Mohammed Musa Khan won’t be going to prison after all in what looks like the conclusion of a case that “highlighted endemic flaws in Pakistan’s legal system and provoked widespread ridicule,” as Dawn notes. Some are going further, saying the case provided a clear example of the kind of sloppy work done by Pakistani police that is all too common. On Saturday, the police withdrew the charges against the baby, which included attempted murder and obstructing a public official, reports the Wall Street Journal. "The court has now ordered the police officer in charge of the investigation to explain why they wanted to arrest the baby in the first place, and under what law," said the lawyer who represents the baby’s family.

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Photo by Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images

The baby was charged as part of a broad case against residents in a lower middle class neighborhood who allegedly pelted police with stones as they were trying to disconnect those who had not paid their bills from the piped gas network. Even though his family had taken Musa into hiding earlier this week, he did appear in a Lahore court on Saturday, and sat on his grandfather’s lap while drinking from a milk bottle, reports NBC. The baby’s grandfather and his three sons still face charges.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.