Pakistani court overturns Briton's death sentence for Daniel Pearl murder
A Pakistani court on Thursday commuted the death sentence of a British national convicted in the 2002 kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. Three other co-accused serving life sentences were also acquitted.
The Sindh High Court on Thursday announced its verdict on appeals by the four men convicted in the brutal abduction and murder of the US journalist in Pakistan.
The death sentence of the prime accused, British-born Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, was commuted to seven years in prison while the other three convicts, Fahad Naseem, Salman Saqib and Sheikh Adil— who were earlier handed life sentences — were set free by the court.
Since Sheikh has been in prison for the past 18 years, his seven-year sentence will be counted from the time served.
"The court has commuted Omar's death sentence to a seven-year sentence," Khawaja Naveed, the defence lawyer told Reuters by telephone. "The murder charges were not proven, so he has given seven years for the kidnapping."
"Omar has already served 18 years, so his release orders will be issued sometime today. He will be out in a few days," Naveed said.
Pearl was investigating Islamist militants in Karachi after the September 11, 2001, attacks in the US when he was kidnapped in January 2002. Video emerged a few weeks later of his murder.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)
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