Pakistan To Review Release of Daniel Pearl’s Alleged Murderers
Pakistan’s Supreme Court will review a plea against the decision to release prime suspect Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, and three others accused of the murder of US journalist Daniel Pearl.
On February 1, according to reports, a three-judge panel, to be led by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, will hear the Sindh provincial government’s arguments to review a court decision last week to release the men accused in the brutal 2002 murder of Pearl.
Last week, the country’s Supreme Court ordered the suspects’ release in a 2-1 decision. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that the US is “outraged” by the decision. She also called on Pakistan to “expeditiously review its legal options, including allowing the United States to prosecute Sheikh for the brutal murder of an American citizen and journalist.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi last week and expressed “deep concern” regarding the situation. Pakistan’s Foreign Office said in a statement that Qureshi “underscored that it was important and in the mutual interest that justice is served through legal means.”
The US State Department said in a statement that: “The court’s decision is an affront to terrorism victims everywhere. The United States recognizes past Pakistani actions to hold Omar Sheikh accountable and notes that Sheikh currently remains detained under Pakistani law.” The State Department added: “We are also prepared to prosecute Sheikh in the United States for his horrific crimes against an American citizen. We are committed to securing justice for Daniel Pearl’s family and holding terrorists accountable.”