Pakistani court overturns Briton’s conviction over murder of US journalist

Pakistani court overturns Briton’s conviction over murder of US journalist

A Pakistani court has overturned the murder conviction of a British Pakistani man found guilty of the kidnapping and murder of Wall Street journalist Daniel Pearl.

Instead, the court found Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh guilty of the lesser charge of kidnapping and sentenced him to seven years in jail.

One of his lawyers, Khwaja Naveed, said he could go free unless the government chooses to challenge the court decision.

Judea Pearl, father of Daniel Pearl (Wilfredo Lee/AP)
Judea Pearl, father of Daniel Pearl (Wilfredo Lee/AP)

Sheikh has already spent 18 years in prison in southern Hyderabad on death row. It is expected that the seven-year sentence will be counted as time served, said Mr Naveed.

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 Mr Naveed.

Sheikh, a former student at the London School of Economics, and the others were convicted in 2002.

London School of Economics (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
London School of Economics (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

The defendants were also collectively fined 32,000 dollars. At the time, chief prosecutor Raja Quereshi said the money would go to Mr Pearl’s widow Mariane and their infant son, who was born after his father was killed.

Seven more suspects were never arrested.

Mr Pearl disappeared in Karachi while researching links between Pakistani militants and shoe bomber Richard Reid, who was arrested in December on a flight from Paris to Miami.

Prosecutors said Sheikh 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 US diplomats confirmed that Pearl, 38, was dead.


More in this Section

Dominic Cummings has made ‘mockery’ of public health advice, say expertsDominic Cummings has made ‘mockery’ of public health advice, say experts

Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings say coronavirus affected their eyesightBoris Johnson and Dominic Cummings say coronavirus affected their eyesight

Memorial Day like no other for Americans under coronavirus restrictionsMemorial Day like no other for Americans under coronavirus restrictions

Trump honours fallen soldiers on Memorial DayTrump honours fallen soldiers on Memorial Day


Lifestyle

The phrase “dupe”, short for duplicate, is used in online beauty communities to signify that a product is similar to a more expensive counterpart.The Skin Nerd: Products with star power, without the Hollywood price tag

Struggling to stick to your work routine at home? You’re not alone.10 tips for greater productivity working from home

Relaxing the rules at home has helped Karen Koster and her young family to get through lockdown, says Helen O'CallaghanEasy does it: Relaxing home rules the 'perfect tonic for kids'

Parents who homeschool must feel very confident of their choice these days, surely this global event will add to their number even after schools reopen. Their pioneering spirit isGet the Look: The eco-friendly beauty products you need to buy now

More From The Irish Examiner