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Supreme Court acquits Daniel Pearl murder case accused

The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed the appeal of the Sindh government and acquitted the accused of the 2002 murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl.

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The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed the appeal of the Sindh government and acquitted the accused of the 2002 murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl. A bench of the apex court headed by Justice Mushir Alam announced a brief verdict over the appeal of the Sindh government against the Sindh High Court’s April 2020 decision.

In the majority verdict a member of the bench wrote his note of dissent. Four convicts of the murder case, British national Ahmed Omer Saeed Shaikh, co-accused Fahad Naseem, Salman Saqib and Sheikh Adil had moved the Sindh High Court (SHC) in 2002 challenging their convictions handed down by the Hyderabad 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 02, 2020.

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

Earlier, the government of Sindh submitted sensitive information in a sealed envelope to the court.

Advocate General Sindh said that the main accused Ahmed Omer Saeed has links with the outlawed banned groups. “There is evidence but we could not prove it before the court,” Sindh’s counsel said.

Sheikh, a British-born jihadist who once studied at the London School of Economics and had been involved in previous kidnappings of foreigners, was arrested days after Pearl’s abduction and later sentenced to death by hanging.

In January 2011, a report released by the Pearl Project at Georgetown University following an investigation into his death made chilling revelations and said that the wrong men had been convicted for Pearl’s murder.

Read more: Daniel Pearl killers: tussle between judiciary and government

The investigation, led by Pearl’s friend and former Wall Street Journal colleague Asra Nomani and a Georgetown University professor, claimed the reporter was murdered by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks, not Sheikh.

A graphic video showing his decapitation was delivered to the US consulate nearly a month later.

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