Pearl murder case: SHC hears contempt case against Sindh officials


KARACHI : The Sindh High Court on Wednesday heard a contempt of court petition over detention of four accused of Daniel Pearl murder case.

The high court had issued notices to the Chief Secretary Sindh and others in a contempt petition. Superintendent Central Jail Hassan Sehto and special secretary home were present during the contempt hearing.

The court expressed displeasure over absence of the Chief Secretary Sindh and the Home Secretary in the case hearing.

“They don’t know contempt proceedings against them are in progress in the court,” the bench asked.

The court adjourned further hearing of the case and ordered the provincial officials to appear before the court in the next hearing of the case. “The bench summoned reply of the parties on January 20.”

A bench of the high court had declared a notification with regard to detention of four accused Ahmed Omer Saeed Shaikh, Fahad Naseem, Salman Saqib and Sheikh Adil in Daniel Pearl murder case, as null and void and had ordered their immediate release from the jail.

A contempt of court petition was filed against the provincial chief secretary, jail officials and others over the government’s failure in compliance of the court orders.

The court had issued notices to the chief secretary, additional chief secretary and other officials over the contempt petition and summoned reply from them and the jail authorities.

The bench while declaring the government notification as void had also ordered putting the names of accused Ahmed Omer Saeed Shaikh and others in the exit control list (ECL).

Four convicts of the murder case, Ahmed Omer Saeed and others had moved the Sindh High Court (SHC) challenging their convictions handed down by the Hyderabad Anti-Terrorism Court in 2002, after finding them guilty of abducting and killing American Journalist Daniel Pearl.

The ATC had handed death sentence to main accused Ahmed Omer Saeed Shaikh and life sentences to other three accused.

The high court overturned the verdict of the ATC and acquitted convicts on April 02 last year.

The Sindh Government and the family of Daniel Pearl filed appeals against the high court verdict in Supreme Court and the case has been under hearing in the apex court.

The 38-year-old South Asia bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal, Daniel Pearl, was researching a story on religious extremists, in January 2002 in Karachi, when he was abducted and slain.