The Supreme Court of Pakistan has ordered the immediate release of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh in the murder case of American journalist Daniel Pearl, 24 News News TV reported.
Supporting the Sindh High Court’s decision, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Thursday announced its summary judgment by a two-to-one majority.
The Supreme Court has rejected a series of appeals by the Sindh government against the acquittal of Omar Sheikh, a British national convicted of masterminding the kidnapping and murder of Daniel Pearl, as well as the release of three other accomplices. Paved the way for
Mahmoud Sheikh, representing accused Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, told AFP, “The court has come out saying that he has not committed any crime.”
Justice Muneeb Akhtar remarked that it was very dangerous to call his citizens anti-state elements.
A member of a three-judge bench headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial wrote a contradictory note.
Advocate General Sindh told the court that Omar Sheikh had links with banned organizations and the Sindh government had submitted sensitive information in a sealed envelope to the court. “There are facts, but these are not things that can be proved in court,” he admitted.
Justice Bandial remarked that the material presented in the court had not been presented in any forum before. “How can we analyze information that has never been on record,” he said, adding that “if the state had been informed, Omar Sheikh would not have been prosecuted for anti-state activities.” “
Justice Muneeb Akhtar said the government had never called Omar Sheikh an “enemy agent”. “No one can deny the war on terror, but no one knows when it will end.”
Ordering the release of all the accused, the court said that if not wanted in other cases, they should be released immediately.
The court will issue a detailed decision later.
Last year, a lower court acquitted 47-year-old Omar Sheikh of murder and rejected his death sentence, ordering his release after nearly two decades in prison and sentencing him to a minor kidnapping charge The announcement sparked an international outcry last year.
Daniel Pearl was the head of the South Asia Bureau of the Wall Street Journal when he was abducted in Karachi in January 2002 while investigating a story about militants. About a month later, after a ransom was demanded, a graphic video of his severance was delivered to the US Consulate.
Pearl’s family lawyers have argued that Sheikh played a key role in the journalist’s abduction and detention before his captors were ordered to kill him.
However, his lawyers say he was used as a scapegoat for the murder and was convicted on insufficient evidence.
Sheikh and the three men convicted of involvement in the abduction have been handed over to the government under emergency orders, arguing that they are a threat to the public.
No word on when he will be released after Thursday’s verdict.
Pearl’s family called the high court’s decision “a reward for justice” and called for US intervention.
The family said in a statement: “The release of these killers has put the Pakistani people everywhere and in danger.
In a statement last month, then-acting US Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said that after accusing him of “rebellion against the victims of terrorism everywhere,” Ready to take into custody.
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