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Daniel Pearl Murder Case: Parents Say Judges, Witnesses Received Threats

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American journalist Daniel Pearl’s parents’ told the Supreme Court on Tuesday that the trial court that heard their son’s murder case and its witnesses had received threats.

The legal counsel maintained that the reason behind the case shifting from Karachi to Hyderabad is these threats.

During today’s hearing a three-judge bench headed by Justice Musheer Alam heard the appeal filed last year by the Sindh government and Pearl’s parents against a Sindh High Court decision to acquit the main suspect in the case, Omar Saeed Sheikh, and three others.

The accused’s legal representative Mehmood Sheikh, in his arguments, stated that the case registered against Omar is “false and a result of pressure”. He further said that the United States had sent Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents to tail Pearl and added: “No country sends its investigative institutions after its ordinary citizens.”

Mehmood also said that the the witnesses produced by the prosecution “gave contradictory statements during the investigation and [in] court. Daniel Pearl was an American citizen, that’s why evidence was planted.”

He claimed that in the case, it was stated that the ‘murder conspiracy’ was hatched in a hotel in Rawalpindi. However, upon investigation it was revealed that the hotel’s receptionist had said that he did not know Omar Sheikh. “Confessional statements were extracted from the suspects through torture,” Mehmood added.

The case was adjourned until Wednesday.

American journalist Daniel Pearl was abducted in January 2002 in Karachi and after a month of his abduction a graphic video showing his decapitation was delivered to the US consulate. Omar Sheikh was arrested in 2002 and sentenced to death by a trial court for the journalist’s murder. However in April 2, 2020, order, the SHC overturned the conviction of Omar Sheikh.

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Naya Daur