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SHC acquits three in Daniel Pearl murder case

Omer Saeed Sheikh’s death sentence converted to imprisonment

April 2, 2020 12:12 PM


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In an important development, the Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday converted the death penalty of Omer Saeed Sheikh into seven-year imprisonment, who is the main accused in the American journalist Daniel Pearl kidnapping and murder case.

In its ruling on the accused’s appeals after 18 years, the court also acquitted three other accused who were stated to be involved in the kidnapping and murder of the American journalist. The four accused were convicted and sentenced by an anti-terrorism court in 2002.

Pearl, 38, the South Asian bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal, was kidnapped on January 23, 2002, in Karachi and later beheaded when the abductors demands were not met. He was investigating a story on religious extremists.

A two-member bench, headed by Justice Mohammad Karim Khan Agha, had reserved the judgement last month on the appeals of the four accused against their conviction.

Besides Sheikh who is a British national, his three accomplices Fahad Naseem, Syed Salman Saqib and Sheikh Mohammad Adil were awarded life imprisonment and a fine of Rs500,000 each.

Sheikh and others had moved the SHC in 2002 after their conviction. Meanwhile, the anti-terrorism court had declared six others as proclaimed offenders.

The defence argued before the SHC that the prosecution had failed in proving the case against their clients beyond any reasonable doubt, while the testimonies of witnesses could not be relied upon because most of them were policemen.

They also questioned the recovery of a laptop with emails, saying the confessions were defective and not voluntary.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOavNaBX4NU


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