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Thursday, June 17, 2021

Pakistan commutes death sentence for key figure in Daniel Pearl murder

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Pakistan commutes death sentence for key figure in Daniel Pearl murder
Pakistan commutes death sentence for key figure in Daniel Pearl murder

The main accused in the murder of U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl is likely to walk free in the coming days, after a Pakistani court commuted his death sentence.

Lucy Fielder reports.

A Pakistani court has commuted the death sentence of the main person accused of murdering Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

Pearl was investigating Islamist militants in Karachi after the September 11 attacks when he was kidnapped in January 2002.

A video of his murder emerged weeks later.

He was beheaded.

British-born Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh was sentenced to death that same year.

But the court ruled on Thursday (April 2) his role in the murder wasn't proven and gave him seven years for the kidnapping.

Sheikh Omar has already spent 18 years in jail awaiting the outcome of an appeal -- so he's likely to walk free in the coming days.

Three co-accused were acquitted.

A prosecutor is expected to file a new appeal, but the four men are likely to be released pending the outcome unless a Supreme Court order stops that happening.

Sheikh Omar enjoyed a privileged upbringing in the UK before attending the London School of Economics.

He was also arrested in India in the 90s for his involvement in kidnapping Western tourists.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the accused mastermind of the Sept.

11 attacks, was also allegedly involved in Pearl's killing.

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