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

ISLAMABAD—Pakistan’s best courtroom agreed Monday to hear arguments that a demise sentence should be reinstated

ISLAMABAD—Pakistan’s best courtroom agreed Monday to hear arguments that a demise sentence should be reinstated on the British countrywide accused of orchestrating the kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl immediately after a lessen courtroom overturned his conviction earlier this 12 months.

The Supreme Court purchased that Omar Sheikh continue to be detained for now. The destiny of Mr. Sheikh, who was sentenced to demise in 2002 for orchestrating the abduction and killing of Mr. Pearl, has turn out to be an important litmus test of Pakistan’s partnership with the U.S.

The governing administration of Pakistan and the Pearl loved ones had separately petitioned the Supreme Court to hear an charm in opposition to a lessen-courtroom decision in April to overturn the demise sentence handed down in 2002 to Mr. Sheikh.

That ruling produced Mr. Sheikh and 3 accomplices whose convictions were being overturned qualified for release. So far, the governing administration has used unexpected emergency powers to continue detaining them.

It is unclear when the true appeals will now be listened to, and it could get months or even many years, lawyers stated. The Supreme Court will make your mind up up coming 7 days no matter if Mr. Sheikh will continue to be imprisoned pending the result of these charm proceedings. His lawyer wasn’t existing in the courtroom to argue on his behalf, citing overall health difficulties.

Daniel Pearl was investigating extremist teams in Pakistan immediately after the 9/eleven assaults when he was lured to Karachi, kidnapped and killed.


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Faisal Siddiqi, a lawyer for the Pearl loved ones, called the listening to a comprehensive success.

“There is incredibly considerable evidence in opposition to all the accused,” he stated.

Mr. Sheikh and his 3 alleged accomplices all deny involvement in the abduction and killing of the journalist, who disappeared from the southern town of Karachi in January 2002. He was killed days later on, and a movie of his beheading surfaced on the online.

Mr. Sheikh’s lawyer, Mahmood Sheikh, speaking by cellphone, stated he could not straight away remark on the court’s decision as he wasn’t existing and hadn’t seen the courtroom order. He called the court’s listening to of arguments for the charm without the need of the accused’s attorney existing “most unconventional.”

Mahmood Sheikh stated he had been recommended by his health care provider to rest in bed immediately after struggling a heart attack earlier this thirty day period. In his composed submission to the courtroom, the lawyer challenged the evidence in opposition to his client as unreliable or fabricated. He has also demanded that Omar Sheikh be freed.

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

In the courtroom listening to, the government’s lawyer, Farooq Naek, stated that Mr. Sheikh belonged to an worldwide terrorist group and could possibly flee the region if released from jail.

Mr. Sheikh dropped out of college or university in London in the early nineties and flew to Pakistan, the place he joined a jihadist group. That group sent him to India, the place he assisted kidnap some Western tourists, but was caught and jailed there in 1994. He was freed immediately after the hijackers of an Indian aircraft demanded that he and other militants be released.

At his trial in 2002, prosecutors alleged that he fulfilled Mr. Pearl in the northern town of Rawalpindi and made available to guide him with a tale he was doing the job on, and then lured him to Karachi, the place he was kidnapped. Mr. Sheikh was convicted of kidnapping for ransom, murder and terrorism.

On the other hand, a courtroom in Karachi in April overturned the murder and terrorism convictions and downgraded the third conviction to the much less-serious crime of simple kidnapping. That meant his demise sentence was downgraded to 7 many years in jail. As he had presently served 18 many years in jail, he was qualified for release. His accomplices were being exonerated in that ruling.

Ahead of Monday’s listening to, Judea Pearl, the father of the murdered journalist, had stated that if Omar Sheikh were being freed, it would send out a information of impunity to terrorists about the entire world.

Compose to Saeed Shah at [email protected]

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