A Pakistani court has upheld the death sentence of a man convicted of killing a provincial governor he had accused of blasphemy.

But the two-judge panel in Islamabad on Monday threw out the terrorism charges against him.

Mumtaz Qadri, a former police commando, was supposed to be protecting Gov. Salman Taseer in 2011 when he shot and killed him. Qadri's defense was that Taseer opposed Pakistan's so-called "blasphemy laws."

Qadri was convicted and sentenced in 2011.

It is unclear whether Qadri will be put to death as Pakistan has thousands of people on death row but also has a moratorium on carrying out executions. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif partially lifted the moratorium in December, allowing it to be used in terrorism-related cases.