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

ISLAMABAD—Pakistan’s leading courtroom Monday agreed to hear arguments that a dying sentence should really be reinstated on the British countrywide accused of orchestrating the kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl after a decrease courtroom overturned his conviction previously this calendar year.

The Supreme Court requested that Omar Sheikh proceed to be detained for now. The destiny of Mr. Sheikh, who was sentenced to dying in 2002 for orchestrating the abduction and killing of Mr. Pearl, has turn into an significant litmus examination of Pakistan’s marriage with the U.S.

The governing administration of Pakistan and the Pearl spouse and children experienced separately petitioned the Supreme Court to hear an attraction against a decrease-courtroom selection in April to overturn the dying sentence handed down in 2002 to Mr. Sheikh.

That ruling designed Mr. Sheikh, together with 3 accomplices whose convictions ended up overturned, eligible for release. So far, the governing administration has applied unexpected emergency powers to proceed detaining them.

It is unclear when the precise appeals will now be heard, even though it could acquire months or even years, attorneys said. The Supreme Court will make your mind up subsequent week no matter if Mr. Sheikh will proceed to be imprisoned pending the consequence of all those attraction proceedings. His attorney was not existing in the courtroom to argue on his behalf, citing well being issues.

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



Photograph:

AFP/Getty Images

Faisal Siddiqi, a attorney for the Pearl spouse and children, referred to as the hearing a “complete success.”

“There is extremely substantial proof against all the accused,” he said.

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

Mr. Sheikh’s attorney, Mahmood Sheikh, talking by cellphone, said he could not right away remark on the court’s selection as he was not existing and hadn’t observed the courtroom order. He referred to as the court’s hearing of arguments for the attraction with out the accused’s lawyer existing “most unusual.”

Mahmood Sheikh said he experienced been recommended by his physician to relaxation in mattress after suffering a heart attack previously this month. In his composed submission to the courtroom, the attorney challenged the proof against his customer as unreliable or fabricated. He has also demanded that Omar Sheikh be freed.

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

In the courtroom hearing, the government’s attorney, Farooq Naek, said that Mr. Sheikh belonged to an intercontinental terrorist group and may well flee the nation if produced from jail.

Mr. Sheikh dropped out of faculty in London in the early 1990s and flew to Pakistan, exactly where he joined a jihadist group. That group despatched him to India, exactly where he aided kidnap some Western travelers, but was caught and jailed there in 1994. He was freed after the hijackers of an Indian aircraft demanded that he and other militants be produced.

At his demo in 2002, prosecutors alleged that he met Mr. Pearl in the northern city of Rawalpindi and made available to support him with a story he was doing work on, and then lured him to Karachi, exactly where he was kidnapped. Mr. Sheikh was convicted of kidnapping for ransom, murder, and terrorism.

Nonetheless, a courtroom in Karachi in April overturned the murder and terrorism convictions and downgraded the 3rd conviction to the considerably less-critical crime of easy kidnapping. That intended his dying sentence was downgraded to 7 years in jail. As he experienced by now served eighteen years in prison, he was eligible for release. His accomplices ended up exonerated in that ruling.

Forward of Monday’s hearing, Judea Pearl, the father of the murdered journalist, experienced said that if Omar Sheikh ended up freed, it would send out a message of impunity to terrorists all-around the planet.

Generate to Saeed Shah at [email protected]

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