The White Home has expressed “outrage” over the Pakistan Supreme Court docket’s determination acquitting these concerned within the sensational kidnapping and homicide of Daniel Pearl in 2002 and stated that the judgement is an “affront” to terrorism victims in all places. Pearl, the 38-year-old South Asia bureau chief for The Wall Road Journal, was kidnapped and beheaded whereas he was in Pakistan investigating a narrative in 2002 on the hyperlinks between the nation’s highly effective spy company ISI and al-Qaeda.
Pakistan’s Supreme Court docket on Thursday dismissed appeals in opposition to the acquittal of British-born al-Qaeda terrorist Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh within the kidnapping and homicide case of Pearl and ordered his launch, a judgement denounced by the American journalist’s household as “a whole travesty of justice.”
White Home Press Secretary Jen Psaki, throughout her each day information convention on Thursday, stated: “America is outraged by the Pakistani Supreme Court docket’s determination to affirm the acquittals of these liable for Wall Road Journal reporter Daniel Pearl’s kidnapping and brutal homicide which shocked the world’s conscience in 2002”.
“This determination to exonerate and launch Sheikh and the opposite suspects is an affront to terrorism victims in all places, together with in Pakistan. We recognise previous Pakistani actions to attempt to maintain Mr Pearl’s murderers accountable, and we do notice that as of proper now, Omar Sheikh stays in detention in Pakistan underneath nationwide safety authorities.
“However we name on the Pakistani authorities to expeditiously evaluation its authorized choices together with permitting the US to prosecute for the brutal homicide of an American citizen and journalist,” Psaki stated in response to a query on the newest growth in Pakistan.
Sheikh and his three aides – Fahad Naseem, Sheikh Adil and Salman Saqib – have been convicted and sentenced within the abduction and homicide case of Pearl in Karachi in 2002.
America, she stated, is dedicated to securing justice for Pearl’s household and holding terrorists anyplace accountable for his or her heinous crimes.
Reacting to the acquittal, US Secretary of State Tony Blinken, in a strongly worded assertion, urged Pakistan to discover all authorized choices to make sure that the killers of Pearl are dropped at justice.
“America is deeply involved by the Pakistani Supreme Court docket’s determination to acquit these concerned in Daniel Pearl’s kidnapping and homicide and any proposed motion to launch them,” he stated.
Blinken stated: “Ahmad Omar Saeed Sheikh was indicted in the US in 2002 for hostage-taking and conspiracy to commit hostage-taking, ensuing within the homicide of Pearl, the South Asia Bureau Chief for the Wall Road Journal, in addition to the 1994 kidnapping of one other United States citizen in India”.
The court docket’s determination is an affront to terrorism victims in all places, together with in Pakistan, he stated.
“We count on the Pakistani authorities to expeditiously evaluation its authorized choices to make sure justice is served. We be aware of the Lawyer Basic’s assertion that he intends to hunt evaluation and recall of the choice. We’re additionally ready to prosecute Sheikh in the US for his horrific crimes in opposition to an American citizen,” Blinken stated.
America is dedicated to securing justice for Pearl’s household and holding terrorists accountable, he stated.
Pearl’s homicide occurred three years after Sheikh, together with Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar and Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar, was launched by India in 1999 and given secure passage to Afghanistan in alternate for the practically 150 passengers of hijacked Indian Airways Flight 814.
He was serving a jail time period in India for kidnappings of Western vacationers within the nation.
The beheading of the American journalist in 2002 had grabbed worldwide headlines.
Pakistan Supreme Court docket ordered that three others, who had been sentenced to life in jail for his or her half in Pearl’s kidnapping and loss of life, even be freed.
Ruth and Judea Pearl – the dad and mom of Pearl – criticised the judgment that will endanger the lives of journalists in all places, stated Faisal Siddiqi, the Pearl household lawyer.
In April 2020, a two-judge Sindh Excessive Court docket bench commuted the loss of life sentence of 46-year-old Sheikh to seven years imprisonment. The court docket additionally acquitted his three aides who have been serving life phrases within the case – virtually 20 years after they have been discovered responsible and jailed.
The Sindh authorities and household of Pearl filed petitions within the apex court docket, difficult the excessive court docket verdict.
The US has been mounting stress on Pakistan, demanding justice for Pearl.
Final month, the US stated it is able to take custody of Sheikh, asserting that Washington won’t enable him to evade justice.
Performing Lawyer Basic Monty Wilkinson stated the US is deeply involved by the Pakistani Supreme Court docket’s ruling affirming the acquittal of people convicted by a Pakistani trial court docket.
“The discharge of these concerned could be an affront to Daniel Pearl’s household, to different terrorism victims around the globe, and to the reason for justice,” Wilkinson stated.
In a tweet, Congressman Brad Sherman stated: “The killers of Daniel Pearl go free. And Dr. Afridi, who helped the US get Osama Bin Laden, rots in jail.”
“We’re deeply disenchanted that Pakistan’s Supreme Court docket has acquitted and ordered the discharge of Ahmad Saeed Omar Sheikh, regardless of overwhelming proof of Sheikh’s involvement within the kidnapping of Daniel Pearl, which led on to his homicide,” stated Steven Butler, Committee to Defend Journalist’s Asia program coordinator.
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