Aljazeera: A panel of three judges of Pakistan’s Supreme Court has ordered the release of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who was convicted of killing US journalist Daniel Pearl, a government lawyer said. “By a majority of two to one, they have acquitted all the accused persons and ordered their release,” provincial attorney general, Salman Talibuddin, told Reuters news agency in a text message on Thursday. Sheikh, a 47-year-old British-Pakistani, was the main suspect in the 2002 kidnapping and murder of Pearl, a Wall Street Journal reporter.The court also dismissed an appeal of Sheikh’s acquittal by Pearl’s family.“Today’s decision is a complete travesty of justice and the release of these killers puts in danger journalists everywhere and the people of Pakistan,” the Pearl family said in a statement released by their lawyer.
Sheikh has been on death row since his conviction in Pearl’s killing. His lawyer said Sheikh “should not have spent one day in jail”.
Lawyer Mehmood A Sheikh said the court ordered three other Pakistanis, who had been sentenced to life in prison for their part in Pearl’s kidnapping and murder, also freed.
The ruling follows an international outcry last year after a lower court acquitted Sheikh of murder and reduced his conviction to a lesser charge of kidnapping, overturning his death sentence and ordering his release after almost 20 years in prison.