Pak court seeks detention details of Daniel Pearl murder accused

The Sindh High Court has sought details on a petition challenging the detention of four men in the abduction and murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl in Karachi in 2002.

Key accused Omar Sheikh, Fahad Naseem, Salman Saqib and Sheikh Adil through their counsel moved the SHC against the provincial authorities for detaining them since they were set acquitted in April, reports Dawn news.

On Thursday, the two-judge bench headed by Justice Mohammad Iqbal Kalhoro also directed the jail authorities to allow Sheikh’s parents to meet him as per the jail manual.

This decision came after counsel for the petitioner argued that Sheikh’s parents came from London to meet him, but the jail authorities did not allow them to do so.

The lawyer also argued that the petitioners have been behind bars for the last 20 years and despite being acquitted they have not been set free.

He maintained that the detention was not in accordance with law and pleaded to set aside the notification.

On April 2, a two-judge appellate bench of the SHC acquitted all the appellants from the charges of murder and kidnapping for ransom and only found Sheikh guilty of abducting the slain journalist and sentenced him to seven-year imprisonment, Dawn news reported.

However, the sentence had been served since the convict had already spent around 18 years in detention.

An anti-terrorism court at Hyderabad had sentenced Sheikh to death in 2002 for murder and kidnapping of the 38-year-old South Asia bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal for ransom and co-accused were awarded life term for helping the main convict in abduction and demanding ransom of the slain journalist.

The provincial government and the parents of the slain journalist have filed appeals against the SHC’s order before the Supreme Court.