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Daniel Pearl murder: SHC judge recuses from hearing convicts appeal

KARACHI: A Sindh High Court judge has withdrawn himself from conducting proceedings of appeal against death sentences of accused persons in Daniel Pearl murder case, ARY News reported.

SHC’s Justice Naimatullah Phulputu declined to undertake proceedings in appeals filed by accused Ahmed Umar Sheikh and others in review of their death sentences.

An antiterrorism court in Karachi sentenced British-born Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, also known as Sheikh Omar, to death in 2002 for his role in Pearl’s kidnapping and murder. Three co-accused – Shaikh Adil, Fahad Naseem and Salman Saqib – were jailed for life.

The convicts appealed to the Sindh High Court in July 2002. The government also appealed to the same court, asking for enhancement of the punishment for the co-accused.

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But court hearings have been repeatedly postponed, mostly because of the absence of lawyers representing the convicts.

After refusal of the SHC judge, the file of Daniel Pearl murder case was sent to the chief justice who will constitute a new bench for hearing into the case.

Pearl, a Wall Street Journal reporter, was kidnapped in the city of Karachi in January 2002 while he was researching a story on Islamist militants. He was later found beheaded.

On October 14, 2014, an ATC in Hyderabad had acquitted a suspect of Daniel Pearl murder case due to lack of evidence. But he was detained again a day after release.

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Convict Ahmed Omar Sheikh in Daniel Pearl murder case.

Qari Hashim alias Haris was arrested in 2008 for his alleged involvement in kidnapping and murder of Daniel Pearl, the South Asia bureau chief of the Wall Street Journal.

I.G. Jails Nusrat Hussain Mangan in Hyderabad had said the government of Sindh ordered detention of Qari Hashim for 90 days under the maintenance of public order.

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