According to Pearl’s family lawyer, the British-born militant was convicted and acquitted after being beheaded by American criminal journalist Daniel Pearl for 18 years.
In 2019, a letter written by Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, in which he confessed to a limited involvement in the assassination of a Wall Street Journal reporter, was presented in the Supreme Court of Pakistan about two weeks ago. ۔ On Wednesday, Sheikh’s lawyers confirmed that his client had written the letter.
This came after a Pakistani high court heard an appeal from the lower court for Sheikh’s acquittal, who was initially charged with murder in connection with Pearl’s beheading in 2002. The appeal was filed by Pearl’s family and the Pakistani government.
Nowhere in the three-page letter to the Sindh High Court did Sheikh explain or say exactly what was involved in his alleged minor role in Pearl’s death.
Pearl, a reporter from Enquino, California, was abducted on January 23, 2002. A video of the beheading of a 38-year-old man was later sent to the US Consulate in Karachi. Pearl’s body was found in a shallow grave in the city’s southern district.
Pearl family lawyer Faisal Siddiqui confirmed to Sheikh that he had written the letter “dramatic progress” and demanded that the sentence and death sentence be reinstated.
“It’s very, very important because of its position for the last 18 years [Sheikh] “He didn’t know Danny Pearl, he never met Danny Pearl,” Siddiqui told the Associated Press. “He had shown complete ignorance of the matter, but now in a written letter he has admitted at least a limited role.”
Siddiqui added: “He has not said that he should be acquitted. He admits his guilt but asks that his sentence be reduced.
“My role in this case was relatively minor, which does not guarantee the death penalty,” Sheikh said in the letter. A copy of the letter was obtained by AP.
Sheikh also said he knew who killed Pearl and accused him of being Ata-ur-Rehman alias Naeem Bukhari, a Pakistani militant who has since attacked a paramilitary base in south Karachi. Has been hanged in connection with
In the letter, dated July 25, 2019 and stamped by the Sindh High Court, Sheikh on the occasion demanded clarification of his “real role in the matter” so that his sentence could be upheld. It needs to be reduced according to which it is. The need for justice. “
However, Sheikh’s lawyer, Mahmoud A. Sheikh, claimed that his client had written the letter under duress and did not know Pearl and had nothing to do with it.
The lawyer, who is not related to the accused, said his client described the situation in his prison as “worse than animal life” and wrote the letter in an attempt to get a hearing, not a confession. To do “He wanted to be heard,” the lawyer said.
Siddiqui said the appeal is expected to be completed this week. He said that even in Pearl’s death, despite Sheikh’s meager ability, he expected an immediate decision after admitting his admission. “It changes everything,” he said of the letter.
Sheikh was accused of helping to persuade Pearl at a meeting in the southern Pakistani port city of Karachi, during which he was abducted. The reporter was investigating a link between Pakistani militants and Richard C. Reid, who was called a “shoe bomber” after he tried to blow up a flight to Miami on foot with an explosive device hidden in his shoe.
Sheikh was sentenced to death, and three other defendants were sentenced to life in prison for their role in the conspiracy. The acquittal last April stunned the US government, Pearl’s family and journalism advocacy groups.
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