British-born al-Qaeda leader Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and his three aides, whose release was ordered by a court here in the case of the kidnapping and murder of US journalist Daniel Pearl, would leave prison on Saturday, police said and lawyer with Friday.
Surprisingly, a two-judge bench in the Sindh High Court on Thursday ordered security agencies not to keep Sheikh and other defendants under “any kind of detention” and nullified all notices from the Sindh government related to their detention “.
The court found the four men ‘s detention was “illegal”.
According to the jailer, the four men could not be released from Karachi Central Prison on Thursday because the Sindh High Court ordered prison authorities to release them very late.
According to the four men’s lawyer, they would now be released on Saturday as Friday is a public holiday in the country.
Meanwhile, on Friday the United States expressed “deep concern” at the Sindh High Court’s order to release Sheikh and his aides and said it would continue to monitor any developments in the case.
“We are deeply concerned about the reports of the Sindh High Court’s December 24 ruling on the release of several terrorists responsible for the murder of Daniel Pearl. We have been assured that the defendants have not been released at this point,” the US State Department said in a tweet.
The US will continue to monitor developments in this case and continue to support the Pearl family “through this extremely difficult process” while paying tribute to Pearl’s legacy as a “courageous journalist.”
The US has put pressure on Pakistan and demanded justice for Pearl.
In April, a two-judge Sindh High Court bank converted the 46-year-old sheikh’s death sentence to seven years in prison. The court also acquitted its three aides, who were serving life sentences in the case nearly two decades after they were found guilty and incarcerated.
However, the Sindh government refused to release her and kept her in custody under public order.
Her continued detention was challenged in the Sindh High Court, which ordered her release. However, she asked the authorities to put their names on the no-fly list so that they could not leave the country. It also directed her to appear in court at any summons.
Pearl, the 38-year-old head of the Wall Street Journal’s South Asian bureau, was kidnapped and beheaded while investigating a story in Pakistan in 2002 about the links between the country’s powerful espionage agency, ISI, and Al Qaeda.
An Apex court bench with three judges led by Justice Mushir Alam hears the appeal of the Sindh government and the family of the murdered journalist against the acquittal of Sheikh.
Pearl’s murder occurred three years after Sheikh, along with Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar and Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar, were released from India in 1999 and safely brought to Afghanistan in exchange for the nearly 150 passengers on the hijacked Indian Airlines flight 814 was.
He was serving a prison sentence in India for kidnapping Western tourists in the country.
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