On Thursday, the Sindh High Court overturned the murder conviction of Ahmed Omer Saeed Sheikh, the man who was found guilty for the kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.
The court has found Sheikh guilty of kidnapping instead, and sentenced him to seven years. Sheikh has already spent eighteen years in prison on death row and the seven-year sentence was expected to be counted as time served, stated his lawyer Khwaja Naveed.
Fahad Naseem, Sheikh Adil, and Salman Saqib, who were also accused in the case and sentenced to life in prison have been acquitted.
Daniel Pearl, 38, was the South Asia bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal. He was abducted in Karachi in January 2002 while researching a story about religious extremists in Karachi. One month later, a graphic video showing his decapitation was delivered to the US consulate in the city. Omar Sheikh was arrested in 2002 and sentenced to death by an anti-terror court.
Deputy Prosecutor General Saleem Akhtar had supported the trial court’s verdict and submitted that the prosecution had proved its case against the appellants beyond a shadow of doubt and had requested the court to dismiss the appeals.