Pakistan overturns death sentence for key accused in Daniel Pearl murder

WALL STREET JOURNAL / AFP

A court in Pakistan on Thursday overturned the death sentence of the key accused in the 2002 killing of American journalist Daniel Pearl.

British-born militant Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who was sentenced to death in 2002, has been in jail for 18 years.

According to his lawyers, the sentence has been reduced to a seven-year jail term.

"Omar has already served 18 years, so his release orders will be issued sometime today. He will be out in a few days," Khawaja Naveed, the defence lawyer told Reuters. "The murder charges were not proven, so he has given seven years for the kidnapping."

The Sindh High Court also acquitted three co-accused, who were serving life sentences.

Pearl, a reporter from Wall Street Journal, was kidnapped in January 2002 while investigating terror links connected to the September 11 attacks in Karachi. The video of his killing was released a few weeks later. 

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