SC turns down Sindh government’s appeal in Daniel Pearl Murder Case

Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) on Wednesday, turned down Sindh government’s appeal regarding extending detention of accused personnel in Daniel Pearl Murder Case.

The three-member SC bench comprising of Justice Mushir Alam and comprising Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed heard Sindh government’s plea seeking extension in detention of the four accused in Daniel Pearl Murder Case.

During the hearing, Dr Fayyaz Shah – Sindh prosecutor general, urged the court to extend the detention of Ahmad Omer Sheikh, Fahad Naseem, Syed Salman Saqib and Sheikh Muhammad Adil accused in Daniel Pearl Murder Case.

Meanwhile, the defense counsel – Mahmood Sheikh, contented that the accused Ahmad Sheikh who was awarded a 7-year imprisonment has already 8 years in jail.

The court rejected Sindh government’s plea regarding extension in detention. Sindh government had already extended the detention by three months and the court could not extend it further, said Justice Mushir Alam.

The case has been adjourned till October 21st.  

Daniel Pearl Murder Case

Daniel Pearl – 38, the South Asia bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal, was conducting a research on religious extremism and was abducted on January 23, 2002, in Karachi, and beheaded the next month, reportedly by Al-Qaeda.

The main convict, Ahmad Omer Sheikh, was sentenced to death for kidnapping and killing the journalist, and his three accomplices, Fahad Naseem, Syed Salman Saqib and Sheikh Muhammad Adil, were sentenced to life imprisonment with a fine of Rs500,000 each by a Hyderabad anti-terrorism court on July 15, 2002.

Suspects’ defense counsel comprising of Rai Bashir and Khawaja Naveed Ahmed, had stressed that the prosecution failed to prove its case beyond any reasonable doubt against the convicted in any way aided or abetted participated in the alleged crime of kidnapping for ransom as argued by the prosecution.

The defense stated upon the fact that most of the witnesses presented by the prosecution were police officers and their testimonies could not be relied upon.

Meanwhile, the deputy prosecutor-general, Saleem Akhtar supported the anti-terrorism court judgment and submitted that the prosecution had proved its case against the accused beyond any reasonable doubt.

The court, after hearing the arguments of all the parties to the case, decided to acquit three of the convicted individuals, and reduce the sentence of the prime accused in the Daniel Pearl murder case.