- Pakistan’s Supreme Court is expected to decide, reportedly within the next week, the fate of Omar Sheikh, for the adduction and killing of American journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002 - nearly two decades after the murder.
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Supreme Court is expected to decide, reportedly within the next week, the fate of Omar Sheikh, for the adduction and killing of American journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002 - nearly two decades after the murder, which can prove to be an important litmus test of the country’s evolving relationship with the United States.
Ahead of the hearing scheduled for Monday, in a statement from the Pearl family mentions that “this would be an invitation and encouragement to extreme elements all over the globe, to feel free to initiate acts of terrorism, and play games with human lives”, on if Sheikh would not be convicted within the full extent of the law.
Sheikh, who has remained in prison since his conviction was overturned in April, remains adamant that he was not involved in Pearl’s death. Daniel Pearl was reporting extensively on jihadist circles in Pakistan, in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, when he disappeared from the city of Karachi in January 2002 - with a video recording of his beheading being released on the internet a few days later.
While Omar Sheikh alleges that he never met with or communicated with Pearl, prosecutors tell a different story - claiming that the two men met at a hotel in the northern city of Rawalpindi, where he offered Pearl to help with a story, before he lured him to Karachi. The Pearl family has stated that they will be presenting new evidence to the Supreme Court, after a handwritten letter by Sheikh to a lower court, pleading for a hearing, was unearthed - in which Sheikh contradicts his original stance of having no connection to this case, by admitting to a “minor” role in the crime.