April 21, 2024


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Pakistan’s Top Court to Weigh Reinstating Death Sentence on Accused Killer of WSJ Reporter

ISLAMABAD—Pakistan’s leading court docket agreed Monday to hear arguments that a dying sentence must be reinstated on the British countrywide accused of orchestrating the kidnapping and murder of Wall Avenue Journal reporter Daniel Pearl soon after a reduce court docket overturned his conviction earlier this year.

The Supreme Court ordered that Omar Sheikh continue on to be detained for now. The destiny of Mr. Sheikh, who was sentenced to dying in 2002 for orchestrating the abduction and killing of Mr. Pearl, has come to be an crucial litmus exam of Pakistan’s romantic relationship with the U.S.

The government of Pakistan and the Pearl family had separately petitioned the Supreme Court to hear an charm against a reduce-court docket decision in April to overturn the dying sentence handed down in 2002 to Mr. Sheikh.

That ruling made Mr. Sheikh and a few accomplices whose convictions were overturned suitable for release. So much, the government has employed emergency powers to continue on detaining them.

It is unclear when the true appeals will now be read, and it could acquire months or even yrs, legal professionals explained. The Supreme Court will come to a decision up coming 7 days regardless of whether Mr. Sheikh will continue on to be imprisoned pending the result of individuals charm proceedings. His attorney wasn’t existing in the court docket to argue on his behalf, citing wellbeing troubles.

Daniel Pearl was researching extremist groups in Pakistan soon after the nine/11 assaults when he was lured to Karachi, kidnapped and killed.


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Faisal Siddiqi, a attorney for the Pearl family, termed the listening to a full success.

“There is quite substantial proof against all the accused,” he explained.

The Wall Avenue Journal’s publisher, Dow Jones, is contributing to the lawful costs for the family’s charm.

Mr. Sheikh and his a few alleged accomplices deny involvement in the abduction and killing of the journalist, who disappeared from the southern city of Karachi in January 2002. He was killed days later, and a video clip of his beheading surfaced on the internet.

Mr. Sheikh’s attorney, Mahmood Sheikh, speaking by cell phone, termed the court’s listening to of arguments for the charm without having the accused’s legal professional existing “most unconventional.”

Mahmood Sheikh explained he had been suggested by his medical professional to rest in bed soon after suffering a coronary heart attack earlier this month. In his prepared submission to the court docket, the attorney challenged the proof against his shopper as unreliable or fabricated. The attorney explained that up coming 7 days he would argue prior to the court docket that Omar Sheikh must be freed although the charm is read.

Mr. Pearl was the Journal’s bureau main for South Asia. He was reporting on extremist groups in Pakistan in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, assaults when he went lacking.

In the court docket listening to, the government’s attorney, Farooq Naek, explained that Mr. Sheikh belonged to an worldwide terrorist team and may possibly flee the country if unveiled from jail.

Mr. Sheikh dropped out of university in London in the early 1990s and flew to Pakistan, the place he joined a jihadist team. That team sent him to India, the place he helped kidnap some Western travellers, but was caught and jailed there in 1994. He was freed soon after the hijackers of an Indian plane demanded that he and other militants be unveiled.

At his trial in 2002, prosecutors alleged that he achieved Mr. Pearl in the northern city of Rawalpindi and made available to assist him with a story he was doing work on, and then lured him to Karachi, the place he was kidnapped. Mr. Sheikh was convicted of kidnapping for ransom, murder and terrorism.

However, a court docket in Karachi in April overturned the murder and terrorism convictions and downgraded the third conviction to the much less-severe crime of simple kidnapping. That meant his dying sentence was downgraded to seven yrs in jail. As he had by now served 18 yrs in jail, he was suitable for release. His accomplices were exonerated in that ruling.

In advance of Monday’s listening to, Judea Pearl, the father of the murdered journalist, had explained that if Omar Sheikh were freed, it would mail a concept of impunity to terrorists all over the earth.

Produce to Saeed Shah at [email protected]

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