Brit jihadi who was convicted of beadeding US journalist Daniel Pearl is FREED by court in Pakistan – The SunJanuary 29, 2021
A BRITISH jihadi sentenced to death for the beheading of US journalist Daniel Pearl has been freed by a court in Pakistan.
Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh's acquittal by the Supreme Court comes months after a judges caused outrage by overturning the conviction and death sentence.
Sheikh, from Wanstead in East London, was one of four fanatics who were convicted of murdering Mr Pearl, who was kidnapped and butchered in Karachi in 2002.
Earlier this year Sindh High Court quashed Sheikh's death sentence for murder – instead giving him seven years' jail for kidnapping – and acquitted the other three men.
But December another court in Sindh decreed that all four should be released.
The four were held under emergency orders of the local government pending an ongoing appeal against the acquittals in Pakistan's Supreme Court by the Pearl family.
The Supreme Court has now rejected that appeal by 2-1 majority.
Sheikh and his co-accused are to be released immediately if they are not required in any other case, the head of the court panel, Justice Mushir Alam, said in a court order.
The Pearl family’s lawyer, Faisal Siddiq said they were in "complete shock by the decision".
“No amount of injustice will defeat our resolve to fight for justice for Daniel Pearl,” he said.
But experts believe the case against Sheikh had been flawed from its early stages and the Supreme Court had likely made its decision on legal procedural issues.
Mr Pearl, 38, was the Wall Street Journal's South Asia bureau chief, based in Mumbai, India.
He was in Pakistan investigating Islamist terrorism and between al-Qaeda and British jihadi Richard Reid, who tried to blow up a Miami-bound flight with explosives in his shoes.
A graphic video showing his decapitation was delivered to the US consulate nearly a month after the journalist was abducted.
Sheikh, who once studied at the London School of Economics, was a seasoned jihadist who had been involved in previous kidnappings of foreigners in Pakistan.
He was arrested days after Mr Pearl's abduction and later sentenced to death by hanging.
In January 2011, a report released by the Pearl Project at Georgetown University made chilling revelations, claiming that the wrong men were convicted for Pearl's murder.
The investigation was led by Pearl's friend and former Wall Street Journal colleague Asra Nomani and a Georgetown University professor.
They claimed the real killer was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the attacks on New York and Washingon on September 11, 2001.
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