Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Pakistan appeals against acquittal in Daniel Pearl murder case | Freedom of the press news

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The provincial government is asking the Supreme Court to review the decision to release Omar Sheikh and his co-defendants convicted of the murder of the American journalist.

Pakistan’s Sindh provincial government has asked the Supreme Court to reconsider its decision to release two men convicted of kidnapping and beheading US journalist Daniel Pearl.

The decision came on Friday a day after the court acquitted Britons Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and Faisal Siddiqi, convicted of the murder of the Wall Street Journal reporter in 2002.

The move outraged the United States and extended a legal standoff between the Sindh government – which kept the group behind bars using emergency powers – and the courts.

Fiaz Shah, attorney general of the Sindh government, told AFP news agency that he had filed a review of the verdict in the Supreme Court in the capital, Islamabad.

“The petition has been filed to request a review and ask the court to recall the acquittal order,” Shah said.

Pearl was the South Asian bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal when he was kidnapped in Karachi in January 2002 while researching an article on armed fighters.

Almost a month later and after a series of ransom demands, a graphic video showing his beheading was handed over to those responsible.

Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh

UK-born Sheikh, who previously studied at the London School of Economics and had previously been involved in kidnapping foreigners, was arrested days after Pearl’s kidnapping.

He was then sentenced to death by hanging after telling a Karachi court that Pearl had already been killed days before the horrific video of the journalist’s beheading was released.

The Supreme Court’s ruling on Thursday followed an outcry last year when a lower court acquitted a 47-year-old sheikh of murder and reduced his sentence to a lesser charge of kidnapping – overturning his death sentence and ordering his release after nearly 20 years of detention. jail.

This sparked a string of petitions, including from Pearl’s family, but the Supreme Court dismissed them in a split decision, upholding the acquittal.

The Sindh government failed to release Sheikh and three accomplices who were also acquitted, provincial Information Minister Nasir Shah said.


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