SC fixes Daniel Pearl review petition for hearing

ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court (SC) has fixed a hearing for the review petition filed by the Sindh government against the acquittal of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, the principal accused in Daniel Pearl murder case. A three-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Umar Atta Bandial will hear the petition on February 1 (Monday). Justice Sajjad Ali Shah and Justice Muneeb Akhtar are the other members of the bench. On Friday, the Sindh government through its prosecutor general had moved the petition in the apex court, pleading with it to review its decision of acquitting the main accused. Headed by Justice Mushir Alam, a three-judge bench that also comprised Justice Sardar Tariq Masood and Justice Yahya Afridi, ordered that Mr Sheikh, Fahad Naseem Ahmed, Syed Salman and Sheikh Muhammad Adil be released forthwith, if not required to be detained in connection with any other case. One member of the bench opposed the decision. Four convicts of the murder case, British national Ahmed Omer Saeed Shaikh, co-accused Fahad Naseem, Salman Saqib and Sheikh Adil had moved the Sindh High Court (SHC) in 2002 challenging their convictions handed down by the Hyderabad Anti-Terrorism Court after finding them guilty of abducting and killing American Journalist Daniel Pearl. The high court overturned the verdict of the ATC and acquitted convicts on April 02, 2020. Subsequently, the Sindh government filed an appeal in the SC challenging their acquittal. The 38-year-old South Asia bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal, Daniel Pearl, was researching for a story on religious extremists in January 2002 in Karachi, when he was abducted and slain.

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