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Pakistan court commutes death sentence of key accused in Pearl killing, acquits three

KARACHI A Pakistani the legal court has commuted the dying condemn considering the chief man or woman falsely accused inside the the year 2002 abduction and assassination of Wall Street Journal writer Daniel Pearl, and acquitted a trio of co-accused within the case, two different counsel instructed Reuters on Thursday.

At least four citizens were violator regarding the Pearl’s assassination, inclusive of British-born Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who was demanded endlessly in 2002 for masterminding the murder. He has been in penal complex for 18 years old looking forward to the outcome of an attraction.

“The court has commuted Omar’s death sentence to a seven-year sentence,” Khawaja Naveed, the defening criminal lawyers sydney explained Reuters by smartphone. “The murder charges were not proven, so he has given seven years for the kidnapping.”

“Omar has recently catered for 17 ages, so his free mandate will be placed sometime presently. He will be victim of the crime 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 United States when he was kidnapped in January 2002.

Video emerged a few weeks later of his murder. He was beheaded.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the accused mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, was also allegedly involved in Pearl’s killing.

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

“We will might go to the court purchase order when it goes into issued, we are going to probably line an appeal,” Faiz Shah, the provincial prosecutor general, told Reuters via phone.

‘CAN’T STOP RELEASE’

Another lawyer not involved in the case told Reuters that Pakistan would likely have to release all of the accused while any appeal was filed.

“The prosecution cannot give up their own produce in this case, except if they generate a Supreme Court short-time choose,” Muhammad Farooq, a lawyer at the Sindh High Court said, adding that the government could seek to keep them detained by using a law related to the maintenance of public order.

“Legally they are unable to give up their personal free in this circumstance,” Farooq said.

The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

CNN reported in 2002 that the United States had sought to extradite Sheikh after his arrest in connection with Pearl’s killing.

Sheikh was born in Britain and enjoyed a privileged upbringing before going to study at the London School of Economics.

He was arrested in India in the 1990s for his involvement in the kidnapping of western tourists in 1994 in support of Muslim separatists battling Indian security forces in the disputed Kashmir region.

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.

Indian police later linked Sheikh to the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States, accusing him of involvement in transferring $100,000 to Mohammad Atta, one of the militants who flew airliners into New York’s World Trade Center.