A local Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Saturday awarded death sentence on two counts to Mumtaz Qadri, who killed former Punjab Governor Salman Taseer on January 4 this year. The court completed the proceedings at Adiala Jail, Rawalpindi. Mumtaz Qadri who was on guard duty in Taseers Elite Force guards at the time of killing, shot the governor down for his views on the blasphemy law outside a restaurant in Islamabad. Qadri was arrested on the spot with the weapon. He confessed killing Taseer under oath. During the in-camera hearing of the Taseer murder case, the ATC said that the murder, being a heinous crime, had no justification to it. Assassin Mumtaz, a constable in the Punjab Police Elite Force, tried to justify the murder by stating that he had killed him for supporting Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman who Taseer had projected as having been wrongly convicted of committing blasphemy. Legal experts say that the accused has seven days to appeal against the verdict. "The court has awarded my client with death. The court announced the death sentence for him," Shuja-ur-Rehman, one of Qadri s lawyers, told the media. Judge Pervez Ali Shah announced the verdict at an anti-terrorism court behind closed doors in the high-security Adiyala prison in Rawalpindi, the lawyer said. Dozens of people rallied outside the prison where the verdict was announced, chanting slogans in support of Qadri. "The judge has also ordered him to pay a fine of 200,000 rupees," the lawyer said. Shuja-ur-Rehman said soon he will lodge an appeal in a high court against the verdict. The killing of the reformist Taseer was the most high-profile political assassination in Pakistan since former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto died in a gun and suicide attack in December 2007. Taseer had supported a Christian woman, mother of five, sentenced to death in November 2010 for alleged blasphemy in the central province of Punjab. Sunni Tehrik and other religious parties rejected the verdict calling it worse judgment than the English court which awarded death sentence to Alamdin Ghazi decades ago. Hundreds of supporters who gathered outside of the court, chanted slogans against the verdict and in favour of Qadri, protester also demanded of the President to grant clemency to him. Sunni Tehrik, Tehrik-e-Islam Pakistan, Jam-e-Rizwiya Zia-ul-Aloom, Shahab-e-Islami Pakistan, Anjuman Tulba-e-Islam and other religious parties have announced to stage protest against the verdict that they demanded to be revised.