Two men were sentenced to death on Tuesday for starting a fire at a Pakistani garment factory that killed more than 260 people in 2012.
A Karachi court found Mohammad Zubair and Abdul Rehman guilty of arson, ruling that the couple intentionally burned down the Ali Enterprises factory after the owner refused to pay a bribe.
In what was seen as a largely symbolic gesture, the court sentenced them to 264 separate death sentences, as well as life imprisonment.
“I am satisfied with the verdict of the court because it has handed down very appropriate sentences to them,” prosecutor Sajid Mehboob Shiekh told AFP.
Zubair and Reham were both members of the once powerful Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) party that ruled Karachi for decades.
The party has been frequently accused of assassinating opponents, urging businesses and orchestrating strikes to consolidate its grip on the city until a security force operation effectively crushed them in 2013.
The court acquitted a provincial MQM legislator and three others of any wrongdoing in the case.
Rehman fled Pakistan after the fire, but was arrested by Thai authorities at a hotel in Bangkok’s red light district.
The fire is one of the worst industrial disasters in Pakistan.
A judicial inquiry has highlighted a lack of emergency exits, poor worker safety training and the failure of government inspectors as contributing to the high number of deaths.
The fire was initially thought to be an accident.
Much of the plant’s output was for the German company KIK, which paid nearly $ 2 million in compensation to the families of the victims.