Pak SC rejects plea to suspend Daniel Pearl case verdict

American journalist Daniel Pearl.

Islamabad, (Asian independent) The Pakistan Supreme Court on Monday rejected the Sindh governments plea to suspend Sindh High Courts (SHC) judgement regarding the release and acquittal of the accused in the murder case of American journalist Daniel Pearl.

During the hearing, Justice Manzoor Malik said the petition seeking suspension of the judgment cites irrelevant provisions, reports The Express Tribune.

“First of all, the kidnapping of Daniel Pearl must be proved,” Justice Malik said.

“Evidence must prove that the abductee was Daniel Pearl. The Sindh government claims that a conspiracy was hatched in Rawalpindi. What conspiracy took place in Rawalpindi must also be proved with evidence.”

The apex court ordered the counsel representing the provincial government to submit the detailed record before the court for the case to be further heard.

The hearing was then adjourned indefinitely.

The Sindh government had sought time to submit the record of the trial court.

On April 2, the SHC had commuted the death sentence of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh – the man convicted of Pearl’s kidnapping and murdering in 2002 – to a seven-year sentence.

It had also acquitted three others who had been awarded life imprisonment in the case.

The order came almost two decades after they were found guilty and subsequently jailed, said The Express Tribune report.

The slain journalist’s parents had approached the Supreme Court against the SHC’s verdict.

Two criminal petitions had been filed by renowned lawyer Faisal Siddiqi on behalf of Pearl’s parents against the acquittal and release of the four accused.

Pearl was South Asia bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal when he was abducted in Karachi in January 2002 while researching a story about religious extremism.

A graphic video showing his decapitation was delivered to the US consulate nearly a month later.