Daniel Pearl case: Amid global backlash, Pakistan rearrests key accused
Islamabad/IBNS: After facing a global backlash over a court order which acquitted the murder accused in journalist Daniel Pearl case, Pakistan on Friday invoked a special order to keep militant Ahmed Omer Sheikh in prison, media reports said.
The Sindh government on Friday ordered the detention of four men set to be released after being acquitted by the Sindh High Court (SHC) over the murder of US journalist Daniel Pearl, and authorities said they would challenge the acquittal next week, reported Dawn News.
A Pakistan court on Thursday commuted the death sentence of militant Ahmed Omer Saeed Sheikh, who was convicted 18 years ago for abducting and murdering the South Asia bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal, to seven years.
The re-arrest of the four gives the government time to put together a legal appeal against their acquittal, reported Dawn News.
The appeal will be filed next week in the Supreme Court by the Sindh government, the interior ministry said in a statement on Friday as reported by the newspaper.
The verdict on Thursday was passed by a two-judge bench- headed by Justice Mohammad Karim Khan Agha- of the Sindh High Court.
Since the prime accused Sheikh has been in prison for the last 18 years, he is expected to be released while three other convicts, Fahad Naseem, Salman Saqib and Sheikh Adil, who were earlier handed over life sentence.
The court has rejected the state's plea seeking an enhancement of the three accused's life imprisonment.
An anti-terrorism court in 2002 had convicted Sheikh and the three others for abducting and murdering the 38-year old bureau chief who was researching a story on the religious extremism in Pakistan's Karachi.
The overturning of the convictions for Daniel Pearl’s murder is an affront to victims of terrorism everywhere. We welcome Pakistan’s decision to appeal the verdict. Those responsible for Daniel's heinous kidnapping and murder must face the full measure of justice. AGW— State_SCA (@State_SCA) April 2, 2020
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary (PDAS) Alice Wells of the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs (SCA) of the US State Department tweeted "The overturning of the convictions for Daniel Pearl’s murder is an affront to victims of terrorism everywhere. We welcome Pakistan’s decision to appeal the verdict. Those responsible for Daniel's heinous kidnapping and murder must face the full measure of justice. AGW." -