The Sindh Government is going to file a review application at the Supreme Court against the Sindh High Court’s order to immediately release the accused in Daniel Pearl’s kidnap and murder case. Upon the filing of this application, the case will be taken up by the Chief Justice of Pakistan. The review application will be filed on Monday, officials have confirmed.
This development follows the Sindh High Court (SHC)’s order on Thursday to immedietely release Daniel Pearl’s murder suspects from police custody, and to place them on the Exit Control List. While the court has issued release orders for the accused—Omar Saeed Sheikh, Fahad Nasim Ahmed, Syed Salman Saqib, and Sheikh Muhammad Adil—the orders are yet to be verified by jail staff and then the high court.
The four are likely not be released from police custody today, sources confirmed.
In its verdict on Friday, the SHC cited the lack of legal grounds to keep the suspects in custody, after the Sindh Government had twice extended its notification to keep the four accused detained for “public safety.” The SHC has deemed this notification void because it does not mention the primary accused, Omar Sheikh’s association with any terrorist organization.
As a result of the SHC’s verdict, the Unites States (US) State Department on Friday expressed “deep concern” over these developments.
Daniel Pearl’s parents, Judea and Ruth Pearl, also stated their disappointment in the verdict. “We have full confidence in the Supreme Court of Pakistan to provide justice for our beloved son and reinforce the paramount importance of the freedom of the press,” they said.
Daniel Pearl, an American journalist serving as 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 accused were acquitted by the Sindh High Court in April 2020.
The acquittal is currently being appeal in the Supreme Court by Pearl’s parents, Ruth and Judea Pearl, as well as the Sindh government. The next court hearing for the case is scheduled for January 5, 2021.