Kathy Gannon, Related Press
Printed 4: 17 a.m. ET Feb. 2, 2021
ISLAMABAD – Pakistan’s Supreme Court docket on Tuesday ordered the Pakistani-British man acquitted of the 2002 gruesome beheading of American journalist Daniel Pearl off death row and moved to a so-known as authorities “gather condominium.”
Ahmad Saeed Omar Sheikh, who has been on death row for 18 years, will seemingly be under guard and might perhaps perhaps perhaps just now no longer be allowed to recede the gather condominium, but he’ll be ready to contain his wife and youngsters take a look at with him.
“It is now no longer total freedom. It is a step towards freedom,” stated Sheikh’s father, Ahmad Saeed Sheikh, who attended the hearing.
The Pakistan authorities has been scrambling to maintain Sheikh in prison since a Supreme Court docket roar final Thursday upheld his acquittal in the death of Pearl, triggering outrage by Pearl’s family and the U.S. administration.
In a final effort to overturn the acquittal, Pakistan’s authorities in addition as the Pearl family filed an allure to the Supreme Court docket, asking it to examine the choice to exonerate Sheikh of Pearl’s murder. The family’s authorized legit, Faisal Siddiqi, however, stated this kind of evaluation had a slim chance of success since the the same Supreme Court docket judges who ordered Sheikh’s acquittal sit on the evaluation panel.
The U.S. authorities has stated that it might perhaps perhaps probably perhaps well admire Sheikh’s extradition if his acquittal is upheld. Sheikh has been indicted in the USA on Pearl’s murder in addition as in a 1994 kidnapping of an American citizen in Indian-dominated sector of the divided place of Kashmir. The American became at final freed.
The roar sending Sheikh to a gather condominium would look like a concession to the federal authorities, in addition as the authorities of southern Sindh province where Karachi is the capital. The Sindh authorities has refused successive orders to unencumber Sheikh, even courting contempt costs from lower courts.
In the authorities-run gather condominium, Sheikh will seemingly be under a 24-hour guard – in overall militia personnel – and might perhaps perhaps perhaps just now no longer be allowed to recede the dwelling. Places of such gather properties are in overall saved secret; Pakistan’s safety institution has rather a lot of such services and products across the country.
Pearl disappeared on Jan. 23, 2002, in the port city of Karachi where he became investigating links between Pakistani militant groups and Richard C. Reid, dubbed the “shoe bomber” after his strive to blow up a flight from Paris to Miami with explosives hidden in his shoes.
Pearl’s body became stumbled on in a shallow grave soon after a video of his beheading became delivered to the U.S. Consulate in Karachi.
The Pentagon in 2007 launched a transcript in which Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks on the USA, stated he had killed Pearl.
“I decapitated with my blessed upright hand the pinnacle of the American Jew Daniel Pearl,” the transcript quoted Mohammed as saying. Mohammad first disclosed his feature whereas he became held in CIA custody and subjected to waterboarding, sleep deprivation and a vary of kinds of torture. He remains in the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay and has never been charged with the journalist’s death.
Sheikh had lengthy denied any involvement in Pearl’s death, but Pakistan’s Supreme Court docket final month heard that he acknowledged writing a letter in 2019 admitting a minor feature – raising hopes for some that he might perhaps perhaps well remain behind bars.
In a series of tweets over the weekend, Pearl’s family urged followers to “name your lawmakers in Pakistan, in the U.S., the field to give a increase to Danny’s of us,” to maintain Sheikh behind bars.
Remaining week’s ruling that exonerated Sheikh furthermore exonerated yet every other three males accused in Pearl’s murder who had been serving life sentences. It wasn’t distinct whether or now no longer they might perhaps perhaps perhaps be freed or furthermore moved to a gather condominium.
Siddiqi, the Pearl family authorized legit, stated the original murder trial encourage in 2002 charged all four as one, which advanced the case and allowed the court to free all if there became doubt in regards to the guilt of even certainly one of the crucial suspects.
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