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Bhullar case: Germany opposed to death penalty

PTI  New Delhi, May 10, 2013
First Published: 14:29 IST(10/5/2013) | Last Updated: 14:31 IST(10/5/2013)

German Ambassador Michael Steiner on Friday said his country is opposed to death penalty but parried a question on whether his country has sought clemency for Khalistani terrorist Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar who is on the death row.

Germany has a "principled position" on death penalty and it does not amount to interference in any internal matters, he said when asked whether seeking clemency for Bhullar is an interference in the internal matter of India.

"Germany has a principled position that it is opposing death penalty because we don't believe it serves the cause of justice," he said.

He was asked about reports that German President Joachim Gauck and foreign minister Guido Westerwelle have written to their Indian counterparts seeking clemency for Bhullar.

When asked about the letter again, Steiner said, "I think if some one has a principled position, it is not an interference in any internal matter."  

The Supreme Court had last month dismissed Bhullar's plea that his death sentence be commuted to life imprisonment.

Bhullar was convicted and awarded death penalty for triggering a bomb blast in New Delhi in September 1993, killing nine people and injuring 25 others, including then Youth Congress president MS Bitta.

He was arrested after being deported from Germany in 1995, a country that endorses abolition of death penalty worldwide.

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