Daniel Pearl case: SHC adjourns hearing on appeals

KARACHI: Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday adjourned till February 13 the hearing of appeals of accused against their conviction in American Journalist Daniel Pearl kidnapping and murder case, when counsels representing accused failed to show up in the court.

The two-judge bench issued an intimation notice to counsels asking them to appear before the court on the next hearing.

A division bench headed by Justice Sajjad Ali Shah was seized with the hearing of appeals filed by accused in the Daniel Pearl kidnapping and murder case against their convictions by the anti-terrorism court.

Daniel Pearl, a US national and South Asia Bureau Chief of the Wall Street Journal, was kidnapped on January 23, 2002, from Karachi and later beheaded by his captors.

The main accused, Ahmed Omer Sheikh, was sentenced to death on the charges of kidnapping and killing the US journalist, while his three accomplices — Fahad Naseem, Syed Salman Saqib and Sheikh Muhammad Adil — were sentenced life imprisonment with a fine of Rs5,00,000 each by the Anti-Terrorism Court, Hyderabad on July 15, 2002. The court also directed the convicts to pay Rs2 million to the victim’s widow, Mariane Pearl.

Convict Ahmed Omar Shaikh, main accused has challenged death sentence awarded to him, while Sheikh’s accomplices, who were sentenced to serve life terms have moved against their convictions.

The State has also filed an appeal seeking enhancement of life terms into capital punishment to three co-accused.

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