Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh mastermind behind the murder of Daniel Pearl

Pakistan court overturns conviction in death of Daniel Pearl

The Pakistani courts rules Omar Saeed Sheikh is guilty of kidnapping of the Jewish journalist and sentenced him to seven years in prison that he has already served and is due to now be freed

Associated Press |
Published: 04.02.20 , 10:44
A Pakistani court Thursday overturned the murder conviction of a British Pakistani man found guilty of the kidnapping and murder of Jewish Wall Street journalist Daniel Pearl.
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  • Instead, the court found Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh guilty of the lesser charge of kidnapping and sentenced him to seven years in prison.
    Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh mastermind behind the murder of Daniel PearlAhmed Omar Saeed Sheikh mastermind behind the murder of Daniel Pearl
    Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh mastermind behind the murder of Daniel Pearl
    (Photo: AP)
    One of his lawyers, Khwaja Naveed, said he could go free unless the government chooses to challenge the court decision.
    Sheikh has already spent 18 years in prison in southern Hyderabad on death row. It was expected that the seven-year sentence will be counted as time served, said Naveed.
    The Sindh High Court also acquitted three others accused in the case: Fahad Naseem, Sheikh Adil, and Salman Saqib, who were earlier sentenced to life in prison.
    "Justice has been done to my clients," said Naveed.
    Saeed, a former student at the London School of Economics, and the others were convicted in 2002.
    The defendants were also collectively fined $32,000. At the time, chief prosecutor Raja Quereshi said the money would go to Pearl's widow, Mariane, and their infant son, who was born after his father was killed.
    Seven more suspects, including those who apparently killed Pearl, were never arrested.
    Pearl disappeared Jan. 23 in Karachi while researching links between Pakistani militants and Richard C. Reid, who was arrested in December on a flight from Paris to Miami with explosives in his shoes.
     Dr. Judea Pearl, father of American journalist Daniel Pearl,  Dr. Judea Pearl, father of American journalist Daniel Pearl,
    Dr. Judea Pearl, father of American journalist Daniel Pearl
    (Photo: AP)
    Prosecutors said Saeed lured Pearl into a trap by promising to arrange an interview with an Islamic cleric who police believe was not involved in the conspiracy.
    A videotape received by U.S. diplomats in February confirmed that Pearl, 38, was dead.
    The Pearl kidnapping was the first of five attacks against Westerners in Pakistan in 2002. A grenade attack against a Protestant church in Islamabad on March 17 killed five people, including two Americans and the attacker, were killed.

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    Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh mastermind behind the murder of Daniel Pearl
    Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh mastermind behind the murder of Daniel Pearl
    Photo: AP