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Pakistan court orders release of Daniel Pearl murder accused

Islamabad - "The court has come out to say that there is no offense that he has committed in this case," lawyer representing acquitted said.



by

Alex Leach

Published: Thu 28 Jan 2021, 11:51 AM

Last updated: Thu 28 Jan 2021, 3:07 PM

The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday rejected an appeal filed by the Sindh provincial government against the Sindh High Court's (SHC) decision to acquit and release the accused persons in the 2002 kidnap and murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl, ordering their immediate release.

The short order was was announced by a three-member bench of the apex court.

The decision comes after the Sindh government decided to challenge the decision of the SHC, which on April 2 commuted the death sentence of key accused Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh to seven years, while acquitting three others who were serving life sentences.

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“The court has come out to say that there is no offense that he has committed in this case,” Mahmood Sheikh, who represented Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, told AFP.

The top court’s ruling comes after an international outcry erupted last year when a lower court acquitted the 47-year-old of murder and reduced his conviction to a lesser charge of kidnap — overturning his death sentence and ordering his release after almost two decades in prison.

Pearl was the South Asia bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal when he was abducted in Karachi in January 2002 while researching a story about militants.

Nearly a month later, after a string of ransom demands were made, a graphic video showing his decapitation was delivered to the US consulate.

Photo: AFP file
Photo: AFP file

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