Imran Ali Naqshbandi, the prime accused in the rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl in Pakistan’s Punjab province in January, was sentenced to death on Saturday. An anti-terrorism court handed him four counts of death penalty, one life term and a fine of 32 lakh Pakistani rupees (approximately Rs 18.63 lakh), Dawn reported.

As many as 56 witnesses, including the girl’s uncle and brother, recorded their statements against Naqshbandi, Geo TV reported. A forensic report and polygraph test were used to prove the crime.

Three of the counts of death penalty were for kidnapping, rape and murder, while the fourth was for terrorist activity. He got the life term for sodomy. The verdict was announced at Lahore’s Central Jail.

Ali was arrested on January 23. The Lahore High Court had ordered the anti-terrorism court to finish the trial within seven days of the indictment. The court has been conducting hearings daily since February 9, and he was indicted on February 12.

The accused was given ample chance to defend himself, but he confessed to the crimes, a prosecuting lawyer was quoted as saying. Ali had earlier pleaded “not guilty”.

The girl’s body was found in a heap of trash days after she went missing from near her aunt’s house in Kasur on January 4. She was on her way to a tuition centre, and her parents were in Saudi Arabia for Haj. Her death triggered massive protests in the district, where there had been 11 similar cases in the past 12 months.