Pearl Kidnapper to Remain in Jail – for Now
Pakistan’s Supreme Court has accepted an appeal by the family of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl to keep Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh in jail for at least another week. In April, an appeals court reversed the British-born Sheikh’s conviction and death sentence on charges of having been the mastermind behind Pearl’s 2002 abduction and beheading in favor of a lesser charge of kidnapping. He was on Death Row since his initial conviction and the court ordered that he be freed this week, as he already had served the time called for by the lesser conviction. Pearl was abducted in Karachi on January 23, 2002, while on his way to what he believed would be an interview with a man accused of ties to Richard Reid, who in December 2001, just three months after 9/11, tried to blow up a US airliner with explosives implanted in his shoes. In accepting the Pearl family’s request, the Pakistani Supreme Court said it would decide next week whether Sheikh is to remain in jail during an appeals process his lawyers plan to undertake. That process could continue for a number of years.