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Dr Afridi case: Fata tribunal to announce verdict on December 18

The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) Tribunal on Monday said it reserved its verdict in Dr Shakil Afridi case. The verdict was reserved after prosecution and defence completed their arguments in front of the tribunal. The three-member tribunal comprising Shah Waliullah, Akbar Khan and Pir Fida, while hearing the case of Dr Shakil Afridi, said it would announce the verdict on the case on December 18.

Shakil Afridi's brother Jamil Afridi had submitted petition in the Fata Tribunal in October seeking a fresh trial for the charges levelled against him so that he might defend himself through his legal counsel. Afridi was accused of treason for helping the CIA in tracking down Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad.

Dr Shakil Afridi, a former surgeon in Khyber Agency, is in solitary confinement in the Peshawar Central Prison since his conviction and sentencing. He was allegedly picked up by personnel of an intelligence agency in May 2011, on suspicion of helping the CIA trace Osama bin Laden by carrying out a fake vaccination campaign in Abbottabad. However, he was not convicted on that charge.

A tribal court had convicted Dr Afridi and sentenced him to 33 years last year in May for being involved in anti-state activities and supporting the Bara-based Lashkar-e-Islam. Later, a judicial official overturned the 33-year jail sentence in August this year but he is still in detention.

Talking to media persons later, brother of Dr Shakil Afridi, Jamil Afridi said political administration was trying to trap his brother and that they did not expect justice from those courts. He added that his brother was booked for murder after eight years, and that he, nor his brother, had any clue about the case.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2013