Daniel Pearl's alleged killer may soon walk free

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on February 3, 2021 - Duration: 01:24s

Daniel Pearl's alleged killer may soon walk free

Pakistan's Supreme Court ordered the release from prison on Tuesday of a British-born militant who had been convicted in the kidnapping and murder of U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl by al Qaeda and Pakistani Islamist militants in 2002.

Gloria Tso reports.


Daniel Pearl's alleged killer may soon walk free

Pakistan's Supreme Court ordered the release of the previously convicted killer of Daniel Pearl, a U.S. journalist who was kidnapped and beheaded by al Qaeda and Pakistani Islamist militants in 2002.

The Tuesday decision is expected to draw fire from the United States.

The court recommended that British-born militant Ahmad Omar Saeed Sheikh, the main suspect in Pearl's murder, be transferred to a government safe house as a stepping stone towards his full release.

Pearl was kidnapped in Karachi while on assignment for the Wall Street Journal in the months after the 9/11 attacks on the United States.

He was beheaded nine days later, as the militants filmed his execution.

Tuesday's ruling comes after the Pakistani government and Pearl's parents challenged an earlier decision last Thursday to clear Sheikh and three accomplices of all charges except abduction.

Sheikh played a key role in luring the journalist into a trap, while Al Qaeda's number three leader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed confessed to killing Pearl.

He's being held at the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, awaiting trial on multiple counts, and could face the death penalty.

Meanwhile, the terms of Sheikh's release will become clearer once a written order is made public.

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