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Daniel Pearl murder case: SC seeks trial court’s complete record

Top Story

June 2, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Sindh government to provide complete record of the trial court in the Daniel Pearl murder case and adjourned the hearing for an indefinite period.

A three-member bench of the apex court, comprising Justice Mushir Alam, Justice Manzoor Malik and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed, heard the criminal petition filed by the Sindh government for leave to appeal under Article 185(3) of the Constitution against the impugned judgment passed by Sindh High Court on April 2.

The Sindh government had prayed the apex court to set aside the impugned judgment of Sindh High Court (SHC) overturning the death sentence for British-born Ahmed Omar Sheikh as well acquitting three other accused in the kidnapping and beheading of American Journalist Daniel Pearl.

On April 2, a two-member bench of the high court, headed by Justice Mohammad Karim Khan Agha, had overturned the death sentence for Omar Saeed Sheikh, who was convicted 18 years ago by an anti-terrorism court in the kidnapping and beheading of American journalist Daniel Pearl.

The court had also overturned the convictions of three other men – Fahad Naseem, Syed Salman Saqib and Sheikh Muhammad Adil – in the case. The court had held that three of the four accused ‘not guilty’ while the prime accused Ahmed Omer Saeed Sheikh’s death sentence was overturned into a seven-year jail sentencing.

The accused had filed an appeal with the high court against their conviction by the trial after finding them guilty of abducting and killing Pearl. On Monday, Farooq H Naek, counsel for Sindh government, and Prosecutor General Sindh appeared before the court.

The court observed that the Sindh government while seeking suspension of the judgment cited irrelevant provisions. Justice Manzoor Malik said that first the court should be provided with solid evidence pertaining to kidnapping of Daniel Pearl and directed the counsel for the provincial government to provide complete record of the trial court.

The judge further said the court had to examine whether the confession and identification parade was in accordance with the law or not. Meanwhile, the court adjourned the hearing for date-in-office (indefinite period).