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Daniel Pearl Murder Case: Court Commutes Death Sentence Of Prime Accused, Releases Other Convicts

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The Sindh High Court commuted the death sentence of prime accused in American Journalist Daniel Pearl’s murder case to seven years. The court announced its verdict in the journalist’s abduction and murder case on Thursday.

A two-judge SHC bench headed by Justice Mohammad Karim Khan Agha has announced the verdict on the appeals, that were filed by the convicts in Daniel Pearl murder case 18 years ago.

International news agency AFP reported that three convicts Fahad Naseem, Salman Saqib and Sheikh Adil — who were earlier handed life sentences in the American journalist murder case — were set free by SHC. After hearing the arguments and examining the record and proceedings of the case, the death sentence of the prime accused Ahmed Omer Saeed Sheikh was also commuted to seven years by the court.

Since Sheikh has been in prison for the past 18 years, his seven-year sentence will be counted from the time served, so he is also expected to be released. However, Defence lawyer Khawja Naveed told the international news agency that the court had not yet issued that order yet.

Daniel Pearl, 38, was the South Asia bureau chief for The Wall Street Journalwhen he was abducted in Karachi in January 2002 while researching a story about religious extremists in Karachi.

The investigation, led by Pearl’s friend and former Wall Street Journalcolleague Asra Nomani claimed that the reporter was murdered by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed — the alleged mastermind of the September 11 2001 attacks — not Omar Sheikh.

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