(Karachi) The Sindh High Court (SHC) has declared the detention orders of accused in Daniel Pearl murder case as null and void and ordered their immediate release from jail, local media reported on Thursday.
As per details, the court issued the verdict on hearing of a petition filed by the suspects’ lawyer against their detention.
The court directed the authorities to immediately release prime suspect in Daniel Pearl murder case Omar Saeed Sheikh and others Fahad Naseem, Sheikh Adil and Salman Saqib. All the suspects were detained under Section 11 EEEE (preventive detention for inquiry) of the Anti-Terrorism Act.
The SHC also ordered to place their names on the no-fly list. The court observed that men have been in rotting in jail for 18 years without committing any crime.
On April 2, 2020, the court heard the appeals of the suspects against the sentence. It commuted Sheikh’s death sentence to seven years and fined him Rs2,000,000. Sheikh has already spent 18 years in prison on death row and his seven-year sentence for kidnapping was counted as time served.
According to the law, the government may issue preventive detention of any person accused of terrorism for a period of 90 days and it cannot be challenged in court. The first notification was issued the day the men were acquitted and the second one three months after they completed their detention period.
American journalist Daniel Pearl disappeared on January 23, 2002 in Karachi. A videotape received by U.S. diplomats in February 2002 confirmed that the 38-year-old journalist was dead.
Authorities later arrested Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, a former student at the London School of Economics, and three others who were convicted in July 2002. But in April, a court overturned the murder conviction of Saeed, a British Pakistani national, though it found him guilty of kidnapping Pearl and sentenced him to seven years.