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July 3, 2020 10:52 am

Terrorists Convicted for Antisemitic Murder of Daniel Pearl in Pakistan Could Go Free This Year

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

A portrait of the late Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. Photo: Reuters / Ian Waldie.

Four men sentenced to life imprisonment in Pakistan for the antisemitic murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002 could go free later this year, following a court ruling earlier this week that paved the way for their imminent release.

British citizen Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh — who masterminded Pearl’s kidnapping and execution by beheading in the city of Karachi — saw his conviction for murder overturned by the High Court in the province of Sindh in April. His three collaborators — Fahad Nasim Ahmed, Syed Salman Saqib and Sheikh Muhammad Adil — were also exonerated by the same court.

That ruling was upheld by Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Wednesday, triggering concerns that the four men would be released immediately.

But on Thursday, Hasan Sehtoo — superintendent of the Karachi Central Prison — said that the four would remain in custody until Sept. 30 under a law that allowed authorities to detain a suspect for up to a year. Sehtoo said that the release of the convicted men would threaten public safety.

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Pearl’s parents have filed an appeal with the Pakistani Supreme Court in another attempt to reverse the Sindh court’s shock decision in April. In an interview with CBS News this week, Pearl’s father, Judea, denounced the decision as a “travesty of justice.”

Pearl remarked that “one theory is that somebody tried to take advantage of the corona situation. Assuming that no one will pay attention to this decision.”

He continued: “And, evidently, we did pay attention.”

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