The Sindh High Court in Pakistan on Thursday ordered the release of terrorists Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, Fahad Naseem, Sheikh Adil and Salman Saqib in connection with the kidnapping and murder of US journalist Daniel Pearl.
The Sindh High Court also ordered the names of the defendant Ahmed Omer Saeed Shaikh and others to be placed on the exit control list (ECL), according to the Daily Pakistan newspaper. The defendants have been in prison for 18 years and have ordered the defendants to appear as soon as the court summons them.
“The former assistant attorney general told the court that the government had the authority to hold a defendant. The provincial homeland department detained the defendant on September 28 under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA),” Daily Pakistan reported.
In April of this year, after 18 years, the appeals were heard and Sheikh, Saqib and Nasim were acquitted.
Omar Saeed Sheikh, one of the three terrorists, was liberated by India in 1999 during the hijacking of the IC-814 airliner in exchange for the passengers.
After the appeals were heard, Sheikh’s death sentence was commuted to seven years and he was fined 2 million rupees. Sheikh has already served 18 years in prison on death row and his seven-year prison sentence for kidnapping has been counted as serving.
The Pakistani media reported that the men were detained under Section 11 of the Anti-Terrorism Act.
In 2002, Daniel Pearl, the 38-year-old journalist with the Wall Street Journal’s South Asia office, was kidnapped and beheaded while investigating a story in Pakistan about terrorist groups’ links with al-Qaeda.
The US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs has expressed “deep concern” at the Pakistani court’s decision in April to overturn Omar Saeed Sheikh’s conviction for the kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journalist Daniel Pearl.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)