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Thread: Pakistan May Release Man Convicted Of Involvement In Daniel Pearl's Murder

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Pakistan May Release Man Convicted Of Involvement In Daniel Pearl's Murder

    Pakistan may release man convicted of involvement in U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl's murder

    UPDATED ON: JULY 1, 2020 / 7:52 AM / CBS/AP

    A ruling by Pakistan's Supreme Court this week paves the way for a man convicted of involvement in the gruesome 2002 murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl to walk free later this week. The Supreme Court refused a government request to suspend a lower court's ruling exonerating Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh of Pearl's murder before a 90-day detention order expires on Thursday.

    The Supreme Court also refused to immediately hear the appeal and instead said the appeal would be heard on Sept. 25.

    Saeed Sheikh was ordered to remain in detention in April after the Sindh High Court overturned the murder conviction and death sentence, generating outrage from Pearl's family, the U.S. government and media rights groups.

    Pearl's parents have filed an appeal to Pakistan's Supreme Court challenging the lower court's ruling.

    "It is a travesty of justice," Pearls' father, Judea Pearl, told CBS News correspondent Imtiaz Tyab. "One theory is that somebody tried to take advantage of the corona situation. Assuming that no one will pay attention to this decision. And, evidently, we did pay attention."

    The 90-day detention was ordered under a public order regulation that allows detainees to be held longer if their release could incite violence and chaos.

    The lower court upheld a kidnapping charge that carries a seven-year sentence. Saeed Sheikh has been in prison for 18 years, all spent on death row.

    "For 18 years he hasn't even seen the sun. He has been in solitary confinement on death row," his lawyer Mahmood Sheikh, who is no relation, said in a telephone interview on Monday following the Supreme Court's refusal to quickly hear the government's appeal.

    The government prosecutor, Faiz Shah, declined to say whether the government would seek an extension of Saeed Sheikh's detention. Saeed Sheikh's lawyer said a review board would have to be established to extend hs detention.

    The Sindh High Court in April also acquitted three others accused in the case: Fahad Naseem, Sheikh Adil, and Salman Saqib, who were earlier sentenced to life in prison. Saeed Sheikh, a former student at the London School of Economics, and the others were convicted in 2002.

    Pearl, a Wall Street Journal reporter, was kidnapped in Pakistan in early 2002 while working on a story about Islamic militants. A videotape received by U.S. diplomats in February of that year confirmed that the 38-year-old was dead. He had been beheaded.

    In court testimony and emails released during the 2002 trial, Saeed Sheikh said he developed a personal relationship with Pearl before he was kidnapped, with both sharing their concerns about their wives, who were pregnant at the time. Marianne Pearl gave birth to their son Adam in May 2002.

    The Pearl Project, an investigative journalism team at Georgetown University, carried out a three-year investigation into Pearl's kidnapping and death. They concluded the reporter was beheaded by Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, who was arrested in Pakistan in 2003 and later described as the architect of the 9/11 attacks on the United States. Mohammad is a prisoner at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

    "The prosecution's cases are won or lost not on the basis of emotion, they are won or lost on the basis of evidence and in this case the prosecution did a woeful job," said Sheikh, the lawyer. "If Daniel Pearl's parents have any grievance or complaint it should be against the Pakistani authorities for the prosecution's failings."

    Saeed Sheikh had been arrested in 1994 by Indian authorities, accused of kidnapping three Britons and an American, who were all freed unharmed, in Indian-ruled Kashmir.

    In 1999, India freed Saeed Sheikh and two other militants in exchange for the release of 155 passengers and crew aboard an Indian Airlines plane hijacked to Kandahar, Afghanistan.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Omar Sheikh, a tale of terror trail, to walk free in Pakistan in Daniel Pearl case
    Omar Sheikh, the terrorist freed from Tihar Jail in 1999 plane hijack episode, walks free in journalist Daniel Pear beheading case of 2002 in Pakistan.

    April 2, 2020 UPDATED: April 2, 2020 20:35 IST

    Born in London to Pakistani parents, he is an enigmatic star in the dark world of jihadi terror. Pervez Musharraf mentioned him in his book. He went to London School of Economics. He was incarcerated in the Tihar Jail of Delhi and his story revolves around two of the most documented plane hijack terror plots. He was sentenced to death for killing American journalist Daniel Pearl. He will now walk free in Pakistan. He is Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh.

    A Pakistani court accepted his appeal against the death penalty and commuted his sentence to seven years in prison. He already has served more. He will walk free though the government prosecutor in Pakistan said he will challenge the judgment.

    His release order is linked to reports of confession by 9/11 accused Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who in 2007 claimed to have killed Daniel Pearl. Three other accused in the case have been acquitted.

    Daniel Pearl was the South Asia bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal when he was kidnapped and beheaded by terrorists in 2002. The kidnappers initially demanded that all the Pakistani terrorists lodged in Guantanamo Bay prison of the CIA be released in exchange for Daniel Pearl, a video of whose beheading had been sent to the US consulate in Karachi and whose severed body was recovered later.

    Omar Sheikh's name cropped up in this connection. He was arrested and convicted the same year in Pakistan, which had played a role in his release from an Indian jail through its non-state actors - simply put, the terrorists acting at the behest of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of the Pakistan Army.

    Omar Sheikh had been arrested in India in 1994 in connection with kidnapping of four foreigners - three British and an American from Delhi. The kidnapping was in the series of similar acts of terror since insurgency erupted in Jammu and Kashmir in 1989.

    Omar Sheikh had befriended the four tourists identifying himself as one Rohit Sharma, who uncle had died leaving him a huge property in village. He convinced the foreigners to see his village. The three British nationals were first picked up and taken to Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh. They were locked up there.

    The American national was held up at a house in Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh. The discovery of the foreigners happened accidentally as a team of police following the trail of a robbery case stumbled across the house where the American had been kept. The investigation revealed the terror plot and the British nationals were also freed.

    Omar Sheikh was convicted after a trial. Interestingly, a Washington Post report of 2002 said the ISI paid legal fees during the trial of Omar Sheikh. He was lodged in the Tihar Jail till 1999, when a Pakistan-based terror group hijacked Air India flight from Kathmandu to New Delhi.

    The hijackers took the airbus to Kandahar and forced Indian government to release four most wanted terrorists lodged in Indian jails. One was Omar Sheikh while among others was Masood Azhar, the chief of terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed which he floated after his release from Indian jail.

    Omar Sheikh went on to have links with Al-Qaeda of Osama bin Laden. His role also cropped up in the FBI investigation into the 9/11 terror attack in the US.

    It was suspected that Omar Sheikh sent $1,00,000 to Mohammed Atta -- the Egyptian hijacker and a key conspirator of 9/11 terror attacks in the US in 2001 -- using an alias under the instruction from the ISI. The investigation report on this connection never became public but the then ISI chief Mahmud Ahmed resigned as FBI investigation headed in the direction of Pakistan's spy agency.

    Some said he was sacked under, pressure from the US, by then Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf. Interestingly, Musharraf claimed in his autobiography, In The Line of Fire, that Omar Sheikh was an agent of the British intelligence agency, MI6, which had hired him when he was studying at the LSE. Omar Sheikh had dropped out of the LSE in the first year itself.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

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