Supreme Court adjourns hearing in Daniel Pearl case till 27th

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday adjourned the hearing on the murder of US journalist Daniel Pearl until January 27 after the counsel for main accused Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh concluded his arguments.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Mushir Alam and comprising Justice Sardar Tariq Masood and Justice Yahya Afridi heard the criminal petition filed by the government of Sindh as well as parents of Daniel Pearl for leave to appeal under Article 185(3) of the Constitution against the impugned judgment passed by the Sindh High Court on April 2.

Concluding his arguments, Mahmood A Sheikh, counsel for the British-born Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh sought acquittal of his client as he claimed that there was no evidence against him and the case of prosecution was a pack of lies.

He argued that there was delay in the FIR and that the case laws favor his client. He contended that the date of arrest of the accused persons was contradictory and this also nullified the recoveries made from the accused.

Regarding Omer’s arrest in India, he said no charge/trial was held in India and he went there just like a tourist. The court directed the counsel to submit replies on the letter and the news clippings alleging Omer’s link to militant groups before the next hearing.

Arguing before the court, Rai Bashir, the counsel for Salman Saqib, another accused in the case, highlighted contradictions in the content of the FIR, statement of Nasir Abbas, taxi driver, and an email sent by Isra Naumani, a colleague of Daniel Pearl, saying that three statements tell different stories. He submitted that according to the record of mobile phone of Daniel Pearl, provided by Jamil Yousaf of the CPLC, Pearl’s phone was active even one month after his abduction and he was in contact with Isra and Asif Mehmood but this matter was never investigated by the prosecution. The counsel submitted that there was not a single proof against his clients, so their acquittal be confirmed.

Sindh Prosecutor General Faiz Shah, in his rebuttals, could not satisfy the bench as the judges have been asking him about more details and later directed him to furnish a written response by the next hearing. The court directed the Sindh government to facilitate the meeting of Omar with his counsel and adjourned the hearing until January 27.

Newspaper: The News