- A report in the Express Tribune indicated that the Sindh government will engage a private counsel to file a criminal appeal against the verdict.
- Judea Pearl, the father of the slain journalist, called the ruling "a mockery of justice."
- The Pearl Project at Georgetown University released a report in 2011 that Pakistan convicted the wrong men.
The Sindh provincial government in Pakistan has said that it will file an appeal to the Supreme Court to challenge the ruling that overturned the death sentence of a British-Pakistan national. Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh was the alleged mastermind of the murder of Wall Street Journal reporter, Daniel Pearl.
A report in the Express Tribune indicated that the Sindh government will engage a private counsel to file a criminal appeal against the verdict. The provincial government on Friday ordered that Omar Saeed and his co-accused, who were also acquitted, remain in custody for three months.
Karachi’s Central Prison Superintendent, Hasan Sehtoo revealed that the order he received from the government said that Omar’s release will be a threat to public safety. Omar was expected to be set free, since he had already served 18 years in prison.
On Thursday, the Sindh High Court overturned the British terrorist’s death sentence for the murder charges. He was sentenced to seven years for Pearl’s kidnapping, of which Saeed had already served 18. The court had also acquitted Omar’s accomplices, Sheikh Adil, Fahad Naseem, and Salman Saquib, who had been sentenced to life. The appeal was filed after their convictions, but had taken 18 years to be heard by the High Court.
Judea Pearl, the father of the slain journalist, called the ruling “a mockery of justice.” In a tweet, he added that “anyone with a minimal sense of right and wrong now expects Faiz Shah, prosecutor general of Sindh to do his duty and appeal this reprehensible decision to the Supreme Court of Pakistan.” Judea Pearl later expressed his gratitude that the three murder suspects “will be kept in detention for another 90 days, pending an appeal.”
Omar Saeed, who dropped out of college, was a longtime extremist who apparently experienced a religious awakening while studying at the London School of Economics. Saeed, who hails from Wanstead, East London, was born in 1973. The court findings during his trial revealed that Saeed called the journalist to Karachi, so as to meet a cleric for an interview.
The journalist, Pearl, who was The Wall Street Journal’s South Asia correspondent, was kidnapped in Karachi in January 2002, while investigating the links between a British citizen, attempted shoe bomber Richard Reid, and al-Qaeda. Upon his arrival, however, Pearl was bundled into a car and driven to a compound in the outskirts of town. He was held hostage and, days later, beheaded.
The Pearl Project at Georgetown University released a report in 2011, after an investigation into Pearl’s murder. The report claimed that the court convicted the wrong men. The investigation, led by Pearl’s friend and former Wall Street Journal colleague, claimed that Pearl was murdered by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, commonly known as KSM, who was arrested in 2003, and is being held at Guatantanamo Bay.
It is alleged that after being subjected repeatedly to waterboarding— a torturous interrogation technique that has since been banned by the US government— KSM confessed to killing the journalist.