US ready to prosecute Omar Sheikh: Antony Blinken

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US ready to prosecute Omar Sheikh: Antony Blinken

Monitoring Desk :

The newly appointed US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken has said his country was ready to prosecute Omar Sheikh, a key accused in the murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl. The Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered the release of the Omar Sheikh on Thursday and dismissed the application of the Sindh government challenging SHC judgement.

Sheikh is accused of beheading the American journalist Daniel Pearl in Karachi.

A three-judge Supreme Court bench acquitted Sheikh by extending the benefit of the doubt to him and ordered his release. The Supreme Court issued the verdict on a petition filed by the Sindh government and Pearl’s parents against a Sindh High Court (SHC) order for Sheikh’s acquittal and immediate release.

Blinken, in a statement issued by his office late on Thursday evening, said he was “deeply concerned by the Pakistani Supreme Court’s decision to acquit those involved in Daniel Pearl’s kidnapping and murder and any proposed action to release them”.

“We are also prepared to prosecute Sheikh in the United States for his horrific crimes against an American citizen,” the statement read further.

“We are committed to securing justice for Daniel Pearl’s family and holding terrorists accountable.”

The chief US diplomat, who took charge of his office on Wednesday, recalled that Sheikh had been indicted in the US in 2002 for hostage-taking and conspiracy to commit hostage-taking, resulting in the murder of Pearl, the South Asia Bureau Chief for the Wall Street Journal, as well as the 1994 kidnapping of another American citizen in India.

US ready to prosecute Omar Sheikh: Antony Blinken

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