The Supreme Court on Tuesday heard the appeal cases against the acquittal of the murders convicted in the Daniel Pearl case, during which new information about Daniel Pearl’s body was revealed by his parents.
A three-member bench headed by Justice Mushir Alam heard the case.
Advocate Farooq H Naek, Special Prosecutor of Sindh Court, proceeded with his arguments in court today.
He said that the accused in the case stayed in India and Afghanistan, and the statements of the accused Fahad Naseem and Adil Shaikh should be read together. There are great similarities in the statements of the two accused, he said.
Advocate Naek argued that Daniel Pearl could be seen in his murder video. To this, Justice Sardar Tariq commented that no one knows where the video came from.
Justice Mushir Alam questioned if any witness had watched the video and confirmed whether the person in the video is indeed Pearl.
Justice Sardar Tariq said there is no witness except the taxi driver, who in his statement said that he was arrested. As per law, the prosecution made their case, said Justice Tariq.
Daniel Pearl was kidnapped on January 23, and the accused took his to a hotel room under aliases, said Advocate Naek. If the court takes all evidence into consideration, then the case of the prosecution has weightage, he added.
Advocate Farooq Naek said that all links could have established if Daniel Pearl’s body was found. The evidence link is breaking up on video, said Justice Yahya Khan.
Advocate Naek pointed out that none of the accused had challenged the video.
During the hearing, Advocate Faisal Siddiqui—lawyer of Pearl’s parents, Ruth Pearl and Judea Pearl—made an important revelation.
The body of Daniel Pearl was indeed found, he said. An autopsy was conducted on the body, and a DNA match was also found, Advocate Siddiqui revealed.
Justice Yahya Khan announced that the judges will review the prosecution’s written arguments today, and hear their verbal arguments in tomorrow’s hearing. The court session was then adjourned.
American journalist Daniel Pearl, Wall Street Journal’s Pakistan Bureau chief, was beheaded in Pakistan in 2002. Four accused in the murder case were convicted to death or life imprisonment. However, all killers were acquitted by the Sindh High Court in April 2020.
This acquittal is currently being appealed separately by the government and by Pearls family in the Supreme Court, with the next hearing scheduled for tomorrow.