KARACHI: Sindh High Court verdicts on four appeals filed in the murder case after the kidnapping of US journalist Daniel Pearl
Approved the appeals of 3 while the death sentence of Omar Sheikh was changed to 7 years imprisonment.
A 2-member bench headed by Justice Muhammad Karim Khan Agha of the High Court in the provincial capital reviewed the record,
After hearing the arguments, the accused were heard pending appeals for 18 years and appealed by the government to increase the sentence and reserved the verdict last month.
The bench approved the request of the three accused in their verdict and ordered them to be released, while the death sentence of convicted Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh was changed to seven years in prison.
However, after the Sindh High Court verdict, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh will also be released as he has already been sentenced to 18 years imprisonment and his seven year jail sentence will be counted in that same period.
In addition, the Sindh High Court rejected the state's appeal to extend the life imprisonment of the accused.
Earlier, it was reported that the Anti-Terrorism Court sentenced Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh to death while the co-accused Fahad Nasim, Salman Saqib and Sheikh Adil were sentenced to life imprisonment. ۔
Daniel Pearl, 38, the South Asia bureau chief of the Wall Street Journal, was kidnapped and killed in January 2002 in Karachi while he was working on an article on religious extremism.
Later, the accused returned to the Sindh High Court in 2002 after being convicted by the Hyderabad Anti-Terrorism Court for kidnapping and murdering Sheikh Omar and other accused.
The trial court had declared Hashim, Asim alias Qasim, Hassan, Ahmad Bhai, Imtiaz Siddiqui and Amjad Farooqi in this case.