Saturday September 18, 2021

SC adjourns hearing in Denial Pearl case for 15 days

September 16, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court Tuesday adjourned for 15 days hearing in an appeal filed by the Sindh government against the Sindh High Court verdict, overturning death sentence to British-born Ahmed Omar Sheikh as well acquitting three other accused in the kidnapping and beheading of American journalist Daniel Pearl.

A three-member bench, headed by Justice Mushir Alam, Justice Manzoor Ahmed 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 SHC’s impugned judgment passed on April 2. The parents of the slain journalist, Ruth Pearl and Judie Pearl, have also filed a criminal petition against the acquittal and release of the four accused. An appeal has also been filed by the main accused, Ahmed Omar Ahmed Sheikh, against his conviction.

The Sindh government counsel Farooq H Naek, Additional Prosecutor General Sindh Hussain Bukhsh Baloch, Mahmood A Sheikh, counsel for the accused Omar Ahmed Sheikh, appeared before the court. Hussain Bukhsh Baloch sought adjournment as Prosecutor General Sindh could not turn up due to death of his mother. The court referred the matter to the Chief Justice of Pakistan to fix the instant appeals before September 30, as the duration of detention of the main accused Ahmed Omar Sheikh was going to expire on the said date. Justice Qazi Amin asked Farooq H Naek, counsel for the Sindh Government to submit complete synopsis of his formulations after the counsel pleaded for considering seven major points mention in the appeal against the verdict of the Sindh government. “This is a complex case, therefore, you should submit a written synopsis before the court before the next hearing,” Justice Qazi asked Naek. He further asked him as to how he was appointed as a counsel in the instant matter when the prosecutor general Sindh could argue in this matter. Naek responded that he had been hired as counsel after fulfilling legal obligations. It is pertinent to mention that in the previous hearing, the Sindh government had informed the court that Farooq H Naek will argue the matter in place of Advocate General Sindh and he would satisfy the bench. On Tuesday, Justice Manzoor Ahmed Malik asked Naek to tell as to who was witness to the abduction of Daniel Pearl. “What is the evidence that the man abducted was Daniel Pearl and the evidence must prove that the abductee was Daniel Pearl,” Justice Manzoor asked Naek. Later on the court adjourned the matter after referring it to the Chief justice of Pakistan for fixing the matter before September 30.