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Pak SC directs to move Omar to rest house from death cell

ISLAMABAD: In a new development in Daniel Pearl murder case, the Pakistan Supreme Court on Tuesday directed authorities to move Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, the prime accused in the 2002 killing of American journalist Daniel Pearl, from a death cell in the Karachi Central Prison to a government rest house within the next two to three days.

Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh

The apex court also directed authorities to ensure complete security of the rest house, and allowed Sheikh’s family access to him from 8am to 5pm, while hearing a petition filed by the accused against his detention despite high court orders in this regard.

The accused, however, will not be given access to mobile and internet services while his family will be given accommodation and transport on the government’s expense, according to the court’s directives.

On Jan 28, by a majority of two to one, the apex court had upheld the high court’s acquittal of Sheikh for Pearl’s murder and ordered his release if he was not wanted in any other case.

A day earlier, Attorney General (AG) Khalid Jawed Khan Attorney General Khalid Jawed Khan appeared before a three-judge SC bench, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, to highlight that the high court had barred the federal government from issuing any preventive detention order when there was a mandatory requirement to issue a notice and hear the AG before issuing such orders.

Daniel Pearl

The Supreme Court, however, preferred to maintain the status quo for a day instead of granting any stay against the SHC order in which the federal and provincial governments were directed not to issue any preventive detention order without prior permission of the high court.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) on Monday extended the detention order of the accused in the US journalist Daniel Pearls murder case by one day.

The apex court, while hearing the plea against the detention of the accused, summoned complete record of the case from Sindh High Court (SHC) and adjourned the hearing till Tuesday.

Earlier, Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) on last Thursday ordered to release accused in case of murder of journalist Daniel Pearl.

Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Mushir Alam dismissed the petition of the Sindh government against Sindh High Court (SHC) decision to overturn the conviction of accused.

Sindh High Court had commuted the death sentence of prime suspect Ahmed Omer Sheikh to seven years in prison in abduction and murder case of Daniel Pearl an American journalist.

Justice KK Agha and Justice Zulfiqar Ali Sangi issued verdict on appeals, lodged by the suspects against their sentences, after 18 years and acquitted the other three accused in the case who had been handed over life terms earlier.

Fahad Naseem, Salman Saqib and Sheikh Adil were the co-accused. Ahmed Omer Sheikh, the main accused, is a British national.

The SHC remarked that the kidnapping case is proven against Ahmed Omer Sheikh while the murder accusations have not been proven against any of the suspects.

The Sindh government on last Friday has filed a review petition in the Supreme Court against the acquittal of the men accused of murdering American journalist Daniel Pearl.

The petition was filed against the January 28 decision of the apex court.

The federal government has decided to become a party in Sindh governments review appeal against the acquittal of the accused in the Daniel Pearl case.

According to the spokesperson of the Attorney General, the federal government will soon file a petition against the decision and will also seek the formation of a larger bench for the appeal.

All legal steps would be taken in collaboration with the Sindh government to ensure the provision of justice, the AG office added.