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Total Fatalities 349,186
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Today's Fatalities 2,427
Today's Cases 100,636
India corona update 
Total Fatalities 349,186
Total Cases 28,909,975
Today's Fatalities 2,427
Today's Cases 100,636

News

Pakistan court acquits four in Daniel Pearl murder case

FILE PHOTO: British-born Islamic militant Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh is surrounded by armed police as he arrives at a court in Karachi, Pakistan March 29, 2002. REUTERS/Zahid Hussein/File Photo

By: PramodKumar

A court in Pakistan on Thursday (4) acquitted all four defendants, including the main accused British-born Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, in the 2002 murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl, the lawyers and the court record said.

Omar Saeed Sheikh’s death sentence commuted to 7 years in prison, already served.

He has been in jail for 18 years awaiting the outcome of an appeal.

Sheikh, who was born in Britain and studied at the London School of Economics, was arrested in India in the 1990s for his involvement in the kidnapping of western tourists in 1994.

He was one of three men released from an Indian prison after militants hijacked an Indian airliner in late 1999 and flew it to Afghanistan, where the then-ruling Taliban regime helped negotiate an exchange.

“The court has commuted Omar’s death sentence to a seven year sentence,” Khawaja Naveed, the defence lawyer told Reuters by telephone. “The murder charges were not proven, so he has given seven years for the kidnapping.”

“Omar has already served 18 years, so his release orders will be issued sometime today. He will be out in a few days,” Naveed said.

A two-member bench of the High Court of Sindh province issued the order in the city of Karachi on Thursday, Naveed said, adding that the three others, who had been serving life-sentences in connection with the case, had been acquitted.

Pearl was investigating Islamist militants in Karachi after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the US when he was kidnapped in January 2002. Video emerged a few weeks later of his murder.

A Sindh prosecutor said he would consider appealing against the court decision.

“We will go through the court order once it is issued, we will probably file an appeal,” said Faiz Shah, the provincial prosecutor general.

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