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Pakistan court acquits mentally-challenged Christian girl of blasphemy

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Sept. 8: Pakistani police officials escort a young Christian girl, center, accused of blasphemy for allegedly burning pages of a Quran, toward a helicopter following her release from central prison on the outskirts of Rawalpindi, Pakistan.AP

A defense lawyer says a Pakistani court has acquitted a Christian girl accused of blasphemy over the burning of the Muslim holy book.

Attorney Abdul Hameed says Tuesday's order exonerated his client for lack of evidence and dismissed the charges against her, concluding they were based on heresy and incriminated material that was planted in the girl's possession.

The case has caused an international outcry over Pakistan's strict blasphemy laws, which are very popular in the country. A Muslim cleric was later accused of stashing pages of a Koran in the girl's bag to make it seem like she burned the Islamic holy book.

Police have also found the girl appeared to be under age and mentally impaired.

Pakistan's blasphemy laws carry life in prison or the death sentence.