Islamabad: A lawyer representing the parents of the murdered US journalist Daniel Pearl informed the Pakistani Supreme Court on Wednesday that the mastermind behind the murder is an international terrorist and cited a ruling by the Indian Apex court to support his arguments to support.
Pearl, the 38-year-old head of the Wall Street Journal’s South Asian bureau, was kidnapped and beheaded while investigating a story in Pakistan in 2002 about the links between the country’s powerful espionage agency, ISI, and al-Qaeda.
British-born al-Qaeda leader Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and his three aides have been convicted and convicted of the abduction and murder of Pearl.
“The crimes that are the subject of these petitions must be understood in the context of the fact that the mastermind behind these crimes, Ahmed Omar Sheikh, was an international terrorist who was particularly involved in other kidnappings for ransom incidents,” said The Express Tribune The newspaper reported, citing the written filing from attorney Faisal Siddiqui.
“These facts are based on both a ruling by the Indian Supreme Court and the defense ‘s own evidence. Therefore, this context of international terrorism is crucial in assessing these petitions,” said Siddiqui.
However, the paper did not address the judgment of the Supreme Court of India, which Siddiqui had quoted in his written statement.
In April, a two-judge Sindh High Court bank converted the 46-year-old sheikh’s death sentence to seven years in prison. The court also acquitted its three aides, who were serving life sentences in the case – nearly two decades after they were found guilty and jailed.
An apex court bench with three judges led by Justice Mushir Alam hears the Sindh government and the family of the murdered journalist appealing against the acquittal of Sheikh.
Siddiqui claimed that the case could be broken down into three broad categories and three time periods; Pre-kidnapping for ransom, kidnapping for ransom and murder, the newspaper said.
“Each crime must be independently proven, and the evidence relating to each crime differs in both strength and scope. As a result, the occurrence and evidence of each of these offenses must be decided separately,” the attorney noted.
He added that the guilt of each group of defendants must be independently proven and that the evidence against each group of defendants differs in both strength and scope and, as a result, guilt and punishment must be decided separately, the paper says.
The attorney went on to say that the evidence cited in these petitions is not simple circumstantial evidence, but is based on direct evidence – specifically, confessions from the judiciary.
“The evidence cited is oral, documentary, forensic and judicial confessions.”
Siddiqui called on the Apex Court to overturn the Sindh High Court ruling on the basis of gross misinterpretation of the evidence, disregard for critical evidence and facts, and misinterpretation of the law, leading to artificial and shocking findings.
Two days after the Sindh High Court overturned Sheikh’s conviction in April, the Sindh government appealed to law enforcement to keep the four convicts in jail.
Although exonerated by the court, the Sindh government has refused to release Sheikh on the grounds that he could pose a threat to public order.