Jessica Rinaldi/AP/PA

Eight of 10 men reportedly jailed over Malala attack were actually acquitted

Public prosecutor Sayed Naeem had said they were all sentenced to life in prison – now he claims he was misquoted.

PAKISTANI POLICE SAY that eight out of 10 militants charged with involvement in the 2012 attack on teenage activist Malala Yousafzai were actually acquitted in April — not sentenced to life in prison as reported at the time.

Today’s stunning announcement by deputy police chief, Azad Khan, offered no explanation as to why authorities had remained silent for so long or why they had failed to correct the facts earlier.

In April, public prosecutor Sayed Naeem said 10 militants charged over the attack were all convicted by an anti-terrorism court and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Naeem says only two of them were imprisoned for life while the others were acquitted due to lack of evidence. The prosecutor claims reporters misquoted him at the time, refusing to further discuss the case.

Yousufzai was just 14 at the time of the attack in which a Taliban gunman walked up to a bus taking children home from school and shot her. At the time she was well known in Pakistan as an activist who called for better education of girls and who spoke publicly about atrocities committed by the terrorist group.

- With reporting by Michelle Hennessy. 

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