Khudayar Mohla –
ISLAMABAD, (TLTP): Challenging the acquittal of three accused persons involved in the abduction and murdering of US journalist Daniel Pearl during 2002 before the Supreme Court on Wednesday, the Sindh government urged the apex court to set aside Sindh High Court verdict in the matter.
Sindh High Court (SHC) on April 2 commuted death sentence of the people convicted of abduction and murdering Daniel Pearl in 2002 to seven years while acquitted three others who were serving life terms in the case – almost two decades after they were found guilty and jailed.
A division bench of the SHC comprising Justice KK Agha and Justice Zulfiqar Sangi announced the verdict that was reserved earlier on appeals filed by the four men against their convictions. British-born Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who was handed down the death penalty by a Hyderabad anti-terrorism court on July 15, 2002 for masterminding the murder, had his sentence reduced to seven years for kidnapping.
Defence lawyer in the matter Khawaja Naveed had been reported that the SHC had commuted Omar’s death sentence to a seven-year sentence saying the murder charges were not proven, so he has given seven years for the kidnapping. Naveed also told that Omar has already served 18 years, so his release orders will be issued sometime on April 02 and he will be out in a few days.
While issuing order the SHC also acquitted three others in the case including Fahad Naseem, Syed Salman Saqib and Sheikh Muhammad Adil on the grounds of insufficient evidence. All the three accused persons were sentenced to life imprisonment with a fine of Rs500,000 each by the anti-terrorism court.
Invoking the top court jurisdiction in the matter on Wednesday, provincial prosecutor general Dr Fiaz Shah made three Fahad Nasim, Syed Salman Saqib and Sheikh Muhammad Adil in the matter urging the Supreme Court to decide a question of law whether the SHC failed to appreciate that the evidence had established the specific role of each one of the accused persons in commission of terrorist acts and murdering Daniel Pearl.
It is worth mentioning that the Sindh government at the very next day ordered the detention of four men set to be released after being acquitted by the SHC over the murder of US journalist Daniel Pearl expressing High Court verdict would be challenged before top court.