Accused Killer of Daniel Pearl Moved From Prison to Pakistani Safe House
The accused killer of US journalist Daniel Pearl has been transferred from prison to a government safe house, according to Pakistani police. The transfer was for security reasons, The Associated Press reported. Ahmad Saeed Omar Sheikh was handed over to the Punjab Counter-Terrorism department on Monday, according to the report.
Sheikh, who was convicted and later acquitted of the murder of the Wall Street Journal reporter, had remained in jail since his conviction in 2002. He was moved to a well-guarded place in his home city of Lahore from the southern port city of Karachi.
Pearl, The Wall Street Journal’s South Asian bureau chief, had been investigating a story about the alleged financing of al-Qaida via Pakistan-based militants. Pearl disappeared in Karachi on Jan. 23, 2002, on the way to what he believed would be an interview, and was decapitated by his captors nine days later. Video of Pearl’s murder by beheading was sent to the U.S. consulate.
Sheikh, who was acquitted last year, admitted in a hand-written letter in 2019 that “my role in this matter was a relatively minor one, which does not warrant the death sentence.”
Sheikh has denied ever meeting Pearl. The United States has said in the past that it would request Sheikh’s extradition and try him in the US.