Top court turns down plea to suspend SHC verdict in Daniel Pearl case
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday turned down a request to suspend the operation of the Sindh High Court (SHC) verdict in the American journalist Daniel Pearl murder case.
A three-judge bench of the apex court was hearing appeals filed by the Sindh government and the parents of the killed journalist Daniel Pearl challenging the SHC’s April 2 verdict that overturned the sentences of four convicts in the murder case.
Justice Manzor Malik, a member of the bench, remarked that the American journalist’s kidnapping needs to be proven first with the help of evidence that must show the person kidnapped was Daniel Pearl.
The Sindh government claimed that a plot to kidnap the deceased was hatched in Rawalpindi, the judge said, adding the claim should also be substantiated through proofs.
Justice Malik further said the apex court will analyse whether the identification parade of the convicts and confessional statements were in accordance with the relevant laws.
The SC bench adjourned the case for an indefinite period when the provincial government’s counsel sought time to submit a complete record of the trial court’s proceedings in the case.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Sindh High Court (SHC) in its verdict on April 2 had overturned the sentences of four convicts in the case of the slain American journalist Daniel Pearl.
A two-judge SHC bench headed by Justice Mohammad Karim Khan Agha pronounced three of the four accused ‘not guilty’ while the prime accused Ahmed Omer Saeed Sheikh’s death sentence was reduced to a seven-year jail term.
The British national, Ahmed Omer Saeed co-accused Fahad Naseem, Salman Saqib and Sheikh Adil moved the SHC in 2002 challenging their convictions handed down by the Hyderabad ATC after finding them guilty of abducting and killing Pearl.