Pakistan’s Supreme Court issued an order for the release from prison of convicted terrorists involved in the beheading of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. The American killer was Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who was on death row in Pakistan for what he did to the journalist. The other men involved in the beheading her Fahad Naseem, Syed Salman, and Muhammad Adil – who were all cleared of murder last year.
Sheikh was on death row after he was found guilty of the abduction and murder of 38-year-old Daniel Pearl back in 2002. The quartet of terrorists was found guilty for their involvement in the death of Pearl back during the trial in 2012. Sheikh was from Wanstead, UK, which is east of London. He received the death sentence while the other three men involved in the case were sentenced to life behind bars.
However, a Pakistani court acquitted the convicted killer of murder and successfully reduced his conviction to a lesser charge. Now, he faces a simple kidnapping charge and not the death of the American. Because of this decision, the 47-year-old militant Islamist was able to get off death row and get out of jail since he’s been rotting in one for about two decades.
While Sheikh benefited from the changed ruling the most, the other three men also benefited greatly. They were able to have their convictions overturned, which helped them get out of prison.
Daniel Pearl’s family is heartbroken by the court’s latest decision. The writer’s parents, Judea, 83, and Ruth, appealed the men’s acquittals and were disappointed in the court’s move to release the men.
“The Pearl family is in complete shock by the majority decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan to acquit and release Ahmed Omer Sheikh and the other accused persons who kidnapped and killed Daniel Pearl,” the Pearl family said in a statement released by their lawyer, Faisal Siddiqi. “Today’s decision is a complete travesty of justice, and the release of these killers puts in danger journalists everywhere and the people of Pakistan.”
Defense attorney Mehmood A. Sheikh, no relation, confirmed that Sheikh and three others were released from prison.
The victim’s family maintains that Pakistan’s decision is “a travesty of justice” and has pleaded for the legal system to do better.
“The release of these killers put in danger journalists everywhere and the people of Pakistan. We urge the US government to take all necessary actions under the law to correct this injustice,” the family said in a statement.
What do you think about the release of this convicted terrorist after all these years?