Islamabad (Pakistan): American journalist Daniel Pearl's murderer Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh is likely to walk freely on the streets of Pakistan soon as the country's Supreme Court on Thursday ordered his release in the connection with the journalist's murder case.
A three-judge SC bench, headed by Justice Mushir Alam, directed to release the prime accused in Daniel Pearl murder case, Geo News reported. The top court dismissed the Sindh government's appeal against the Sindh High Court's (SHC) decision to overturn the conviction of Sheikh for killing the journalist.
In 2002, Pearl, the 38-year-old journalist of The Wall Street Journal's South Asia bureau, was abducted and beheaded while he was in Pakistan to investigate a story of terror groups' links to Al-Qaeda.
In December last year, the SHC directed to release Sheikh, Fahad Naseem, Sheikh Adil and Salman Saqib.
According to Daily Pakistan, the SHC also ordered putting the names of accused Sheikh and others in the exit control list (ECL).
The provincial government had approached the top court against the order of the SHC overturning the conviction of Sheikh.
In April 2020, the SHC had overturned the death sentence of Sheikh and sentenced him to seven years in prison and acquitted three other accused -- Fahad Naseem, Sheikh Adil and Salman Saqib -- who were earlier sentenced to life imprisonment by an anti-terrorism court (ATC).
The accused have been in jail for the last 18 years and ordered the accused to appear as and when the court summons them.
The United States had expressed deep concerns over the SHC ruling to release multiple terrorists responsible for the murder of Pearl.