Islamabad – A Pakistani Supreme Court has ordered the release on Thursday of a Pakistani and British man who was convicted and later found not guilty in the beheading of American journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002.The Pakistani government and the court also rejected Ahmed Saeed Umar Sheikh’s appeal. It was not immediately clear whether the Sheikh would be released on Thursday; the state government in which it was previously detained has refused to comply with those exemption rules. “The Pearl family is shocked by the decision of the Pakistani High Court to release Ahmed Omer Sheikh and other suspects who kidnapped and killed Daniel Pearl,” the Pearl family said in a statement issued by their lawyer, Faisal Siddiqi.
Wall Street Journal journalist Daniel Pearl appears in this photo file with no date. Getty
Pearl’s brutality shocked many in 2002, years before the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) began releasing videos of beheading journalists. An autopsy report told shocking details of Pearl’s murder and extermination. Pearl was investigating a connection between the Pakistani military and Richard C. Reid, the so-called “shoe bomber” after his attempt to detonate a plane from Paris to Miami with explosives hidden in his shoes. Pearl’s body was found in a shallow grave shortly after the release of a shocking video of her beheading at an American embassy in Karachi. – raising hopes for others to remain in prison. The Sheikh has been on death row since Pearl’s death. He is currently being held in Karachi prison, but the three-judge Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Sheikh and ordered his release, Siddiqi said.
Daniel Pearl was held hostage by soldiers for more than a week before being beheaded by one of the instigators of a terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. AP
The Sheikh’s lawyer said the court also ordered the release of three other Pakistanis who had been sentenced to life in prison for their abduction and death of Pearl. Sheikh, who is not related to his client. He warned the southern provincial government of Sindh, the capital Karachi, not to delay their release, as they had done in the past with his client, and after being slapped with contempt. “I expect the Sindh government will not mock justice for continuing … not releasing them without good reason,” he said. Washington had previously said it would demand that Sheikh be extradited to the United States to be tried, if the case was dropped. It is unclear whether Pakistan will support his expulsion from the country or under what circumstances. The case looks set to test Biden’s new leadership in working with Pakistan, which is seen as a key to peace in neighboring Afghanistan. There was no immediate response from the US Ambassador to the court order in support of the appeal. The Pearl family has called on the US and Pakistani governments to take steps to “correct this injustice.” “Today’s decision defines absolute justice and the release of these assassins endangers journalists everywhere and the people of Pakistan,” the family statement said. However, he said the review would be done by the same court that made that decision. “In practical terms,” it means the case is closed in Pakistan, he said. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard a Sheikh admitting a minor role in Pearl’s abduction – a shocking development after denying any involvement for 18 years. Siddiqi, a lawyer for the Pearl family, expected him to take his case further. However, Siddiqi had previously said that victory was an escalating battle because the prosecutor in the first case tried four men – including the Sheikh – together, with the same charges against them all though each played a different role. which is also a capital offense in Pakistan. The court is expected to issue a detailed statement on Thursday’s decision in the coming days.