Pearl case accused moved to new premises

KARACHI: The Sindh government on Saturday moved Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, the prime accused in the 2002 killing of American journalist Daniel Pearl, and his four associates from jail to a newly-built facility inside the prison, sources privy to the development said.

The move came in line with the Supreme Court’s orders last week that authorities must move Sheikh from a death cell in the Karachi Central Prison to a government rest house.

“All the suspects have been moved to the newly-built rest house inside the prison,” said a source, citing a notification issued by the Sindh home department. “They would be allowed to see their families at the rest house though they would not enjoy any internet and telephone facility. The families of the suspects have also been offered space in Qasr-e-Naz” — a federal government owned building in the city.

The apex court had also directed the authorities to ensure complete security of the rest house, and allowed Sheikh’s family access to him from 8am to 5pm, while hearing a petition filed by the accused against his detention despite the high court’s orders. The SC had taken up an appeal moved by the Sindh government against the Sindh High Court’s Dec 24, 2020, order declaring illegal the provincial government’s June 29, 2020, notification of placing all accused on the Fourth Schedule of the Anti-Terrorist Act of 1997 pursuant to Section 11-EE with an observation that none of the accused was “enemy alien” as contemplated under Article 10(9) of the Constitution and as such their detention under this provision was found to be illegal.

Newspaper: Dawn