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Daniel Pearl case: Sindh govt files review petition against SC verdict

KARACHI: The Sindh government moved a petition in the Supreme Court seeking review of its decision upholding the acquittal and ordering the release of the prime suspect Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh in the murder case of American journalist Daniel Pearl.

The lawyers filed a last-ditch attempt to overturn the acquittal the prime suspect accused of masterminding the murder of US journalist. The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed an appeal against a Sindh High Court’s (SHC) decision to acquit Sheikh Omar and three others over the killing after nearly two decades in jail.

Fiaz Shah, prosecutor general for Sindh government, said it had lodged a review of the verdict at the Supreme Court in the capital Islamabad. He said the petition was filed to seek a review and request the court to recall the order of acquittal.

An official at Central Prison Karachi where Sheikh is being held told a news agency they had not received a formal court order for his release.

A three-member bench headed by Justice Mushir Alam and comprising Justice Sardar Tariq Masood and Justice Yahya Afridi ordered that Sheikh Omar, Fahad Naseem Ahmed, Salman Saqib and Sheikh Muhammad Adil be released forthwith. One member of the bench opposed the decision. The bench ruled that it will issue a detailed verdict later on.

The suspects had moved the SHC in 2002 challenging their convictions handed down by the Anti-Terrorism Court after finding them guilty of abducting and killing American Journalist Daniel Pearl.

The high court overturned the verdict of the ATC and acquitted convicts on April 2, 2020. Subsequently, the Sindh government filed an appeal in the Supreme Court challenging their acquittal.

Daniel Pearl, the 38-year-old South Asia bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal, was researching for a story on religious extremists in January 2002 in Karachi, when he was abducted and killed.