SC allows transfer of Daniel Pearl murder accused to Kot Lakhpat Jail

ISLAMABAD (APP): The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed authorities to move Omar Sheikh, the prime accused in the murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl, to the Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore.

A three-member SC bench comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah and Justice Munib Akhtar heard the the pleas of federal and Sindh governments against the release of the accused by the Sindh High Court.

During the course of proceedings, the counsel for accused Omar Sheikh said his client’s family was in Lahore and he should be moved there.

To this, Justice Umar Ata Bandial asked why the accused was not moved to Lahore despite court orders. There were many high security areas there, where Omar Sheikh could be moved, he added.

The Additional Advocate-General of Punjab said if the accused was moved to a rest house then the government would need the help of the Rangers and Army. The accused would be kept in a government house within the vicinity of the jail.

Upon this, Justice Bandial asked why it was taking so much time if the accused were as to be moved to the premises of a jail.

The court was informed that the authorities were looking for a vacant house of a government employee to move Sheikh.

The Punjab government sought some time to move Sheikh to Lahore. To this, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah asked why the government was seeking time when the accused was being kept in the vicinity of the jail.

Attorney-General of Pakistan Khalid Jawed assured the court that the accused would be moved within a week. He said the other accused in the case would remain in Sindh as they hailed from that province.

Later, the court adjourned the case for two weeks and asked the Punjab Chief Secretary to appear before it on the next hearing.