SC orders release of key accused in Daniel Pearl murder case

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SC orders release of key accused in Daniel Pearl murder case

News Desk: 

Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday dismissed an appeal of the Sindh government against the Sindh High Court’s decision to overturn the conviction of Ahmed Omer Saeed Sheikh for the 2002 beheading of American journalist Daniel Pearl.

The short order was issued by a three-judge SC bench headed by Justice Mushir Alam, which also directed to release the accused. One member of the bench opposed the decision.

“The court has come out to say that there is no offence that he has committed in this case,” Mahmood Sheikh, who represented Sheikh, told reporters.

A letter handwritten by Sheikh in 2019, in which he admits limited involvement in the killing of the Wall Street Journal reporter, was submitted to the Supreme Court nearly two weeks ago. It wasn’t until Wednesday that Sheikh’s lawyers confirmed their client wrote it.

Nowhere in the three-page letter addressed to the SHC did the British-born Sheikh elaborate or say exactly what his allegedly minor role in Pearl’s slaying involved.

Daniel Pearl, 38, was doing research on religious extremism in Karachi when he was abducted in January 2002. A graphic video showing his decapitation was delivered to the US consulate a month later. Subsequently, Sheikh was arrested in 2002 and sentenced to death by a trial court.

In its April 2, 2020, order, the SHC had overtruned the conviction of Omar Sheikh for killing the South Asia bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal. The SHC had also acquitted three other men namely Fahad Naseem, Sheikh Adil and Salman Saqib, who had been earlier sentenced to life imprisonment by an Anti-Terrorism Court in Karachi.

SC orders release of key accused in Daniel Pearl murder case

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