STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Sindh government moves Pakistan Supreme Court against acquittals in Daniel Pearl murder case

 The appeal said, the accused persons failed to produce any material to create a doubt against the evidence produced by the prosecution.

Published: 23rd April 2020 05:30 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd April 2020 05:30 PM   |  A+A-

Dr. Judea Pearl, father of American journalist Daniel Pearl, who was killed in 2002, speaks in Miami Beach, Fla.

Dr. Judea Pearl, father of American journalist Daniel Pearl, who was killed in 2002, speaks in Miami Beach, Fla. (File Photo | AP)

By PTI

KARACHI: Pakistan's Sindh government has challenged in the Supreme Court the provincial high court's verdict that acquitted British-born top al-Qaeda leader Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and three others in the abduction and murder of US journalist Daniel Pearl in Karachi in 2002.

Pearl, the 38-year-old South Asia bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal, was abducted and beheaded while he was in Pakistan investigating a story in 2002 on the alleged links between the country's powerful spy agency ISI and al-Qaeda.

The government of southern province of Sindh on Wednesday filed the challenge before the Supreme Court against the April 2 order of the Sindh High Court, according to Dawn.

The high court exonerated the conviction of Sheikh for killing Pearl.

It acquitted three other accused namely Fahad Naseem, Sheikh Adil and Salman Saqib, who had been earlier sentenced to life imprisonment by an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) of Karachi.

A graphic video showing Pearl's decapitation was delivered to the US consulate a month later.

Subsequently Omar Sheikh was arrested in 2002 and sentenced to death by the trial court.

Sindh Prosecutor General Fiaz Shah moved the appeal before the top court on the grounds that the 'last seen evidence', 'impersonation' and 'identification parade' was proved against the accused persons and maintained concurrently by the trial court.

Moreover, the appeal pointed out that the video showing the committing of murder of the WSJ reporter has been verified by a public official (an expert from PTV) and was never challenged.

The collective proof along with the clear and categorical confessional statements of the accused and the co-accused (Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh), the acquittal and modification of sentence by the high court was not sustainable and was liable to be set aside, the appeal urged the Supreme Court.

Similarly, the evidence of natural and independent witnesses confirmed the demand of ransom made by the accused a fact also stood proven through documentary evidence.

ALSO READ: Four men acquitted in US journalist Daniel Pearl murder case re-arrested

As such the acquittal of the accused as well as the modification of sentence to the extent of co-accused is illegal and unlawful.

The accused persons acted to achieve nefarious designs and committed the offences that fall under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 and this factum was also accepted and admitted by the high court in its judgement, the petition highlighted.

But the high court took a glaring contradictory view, while acquitting the accused and modifying the sentence of the co-accused a decision which could not be sustained in the eye of law and thus caused serious miscarriage of justice, it stated.

Moreover, the appeal said, the accused persons failed to produce any material to create a doubt against the evidence produced by the prosecution.

Rather the co-accused during remand categorically admitted his guilt before the trial judge that he committed the offences in league with other accused who also voluntarily confessed their involvement before the trial court.

Hence the offences were proven that all accused in connivance with each other committed the crime and they were vicariously liable for committal of all offences, including the murder of Pearl, the appeal contended.

According to the appeal, the high court neither referred to nor considered the established impersonation of the co-accused Ahmed Omer Saeed Sheikh alias/Aka Bashir, corroborated through identification parade.

The voluntary judicial confessions made by the accused Salman Saqib and Fahad Nasim before the competent court were retracted on flimsy premises, yet the high court while giving undue weightage to such retraction did not consider the principles settled by the apex court.

The SHC did not appreciate that there was overwhelming incriminating evidence on record against the accused connecting them to the offences with which they were charged, it said, adding that they had committed offences they were charged for in league with each other with their common intention and object and were liable to be punished accordingly.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp