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Alleged Killer of Daniel Pearl Ordered to Safe House
Ahmed Omar Sheikh, the prime suspect in the murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl, arrives March 29, 2002 at the provincial high court in Karachi, Pakistan. (Getty Images)

Alleged Killer of Daniel Pearl Ordered to Safe House

Pakistan’s Supreme Court has ordered the transfer of the prime suspect in the brutal murder of Wall Street Journal South Asia Bureau Chief Daniel Pearl to a government safe house. The order was issued on Tuesday.

Ahmed Omar Sheikh, who was convicted of the kidnapping and murder in 2002, was acquitted in April 2020 of the murder. He has served more time than his conviction for the kidnapping charge.

Sheikh will not be allowed to leave the safe house, but his wife and children will be able to visit him there, The Associated Press reported.

The Pearl family has filed a final appeal asking  the Supreme Court to overturn the acquittal. Sheikh admitted in a hand-written letter in 2019, turned over to the court last month, that “my role in this matter was a relatively minor one, which does not warrant the death sentence.”  He had previously 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.

Pearl 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.

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