ISLAMABAD-Pakistan will try to detain a man convicted of kidnapping and killing a Wall Street Journal journalist in 2002.

Daniel Pearl,

The country’s attorney general has said the government will challenge the court order for his release.

We’re going to do everything we can to make sure he doesn’t get out and call the court back, Mr. Attorney General.

Khalid Javed Khan

said in an interview on Friday. All legal options should be explored.

Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a ruling by a lower court that had handed down terrorism and murder convictions in the case of

Omar Sheikh,

who spent over 18 years in prison for his crimes. Supreme Court judges also overturned a third conviction for kidnapping.

The court stated that it would explain its reasoning later and ordered his immediate release from prison unless he wished to participate in another case.

Daniel Pearl was killed in 2002 while reporting on militant networks in Pakistan.

Photo:

The Wall Street Journal

Washington and the Pearl family urged Pakistan to act quickly to keep Mr. Sheikh behind bars. American officials also said Thursday that they are prepared to try him in the United States. Mr Sheikh, a British national, has been in prison since he was sentenced to death in 2002 for kidnapping for ransom, terrorism and murder.

Mr. Sheikh stated that Pakistan had not received any official request from the United States to transfer Mr. Sheikh, and therefore he could not comment on this possibility.

Mr. Sheikh’s lawyer, Mahmood Sheikh, claims that his client’s return to the United States would be illegal and unconstitutional in Pakistan.

It’s time for U.S. authorities to also recognize that all countries have their own legal systems, he said. If the highest court in the land has come to a conclusion, why does it not realize that this position may not be the right and proper course of action?

Since Thursday’s verdict was handed down by Pakistan’s highest court, it is not possible to appeal in its entirety. On Friday, Pakistani authorities filed a so-called review petition, citing a serious miscarriage of justice. They sought a suspension of the order and detention of Omar Sheikh while the application is pending.

At the time of his death, Pearl, then head of the magazine’s South Asia bureau, was working on militant networks in Pakistan after the September 11 terrorist attacks. September 2001. He disappeared in the southern city of Karachi in January 2002. He was killed a few days later. The prosecution alleges that Mr. Sheikh befriended Mr. Pearl and lured him to Karachi, where he was kidnapped.

Omar Sheikh in front of a courthouse in Karachi in 2002.

Photo:

aamir qureshi/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Pakistani authorities have been resisting Mr Sheikh’s release since April last year, when a lower court reduced his sentence and granted him release. The court said the case against him was flawed because there were missing links in the chain of evidence relating to Mr. Pearl’s kidnapping that began and ended with his murder. She says the gaps include unreliable confessions from alleged accomplices of Mr. Sheikh and questions about the possibility that investigators tampered with a laptop that was allegedly used to send ransom emails.

Pakistani authorities and Perl’s family then appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that there was evidence linking Sheikh to the crime. Pakistani authorities said questions about evidence, including evidence at the scene of the kidnapping and ransom emails, were unfounded.

Magazine publisher, Dow Jones & Co.

News Corporation,

Pay the legal fees for the family’s appeal.

Matt Murray,

editor of the magazine, said Thursday that the Supreme Court’s decision was unfair.

Both the lower court and the Supreme Court considered the evidence from the original 2002 trial, not new evidence. Both courts also ruled that the three alleged accomplices were not involved in the crime.

Since the lower court’s ruling last year, the government has used its preventive detention power to release Mr. Sheikh despite numerous court orders.

Mr Sheikh’s lawyer, Mahmood Sheikh, says he will take the case to the Supreme Court if the authorities do not allow his client to be released now.

Pakistani authorities will not act wisely if they try to create new obstacles to his release, he said.

American officials remain convinced that Omar Sheikh played a major role in the kidnapping and murder of Mr. Pearl. Islamabad’s handling of the US demands will be an early test of its relations with President Biden’s new administration.

Secretary of State Anthony G. Blinken said in a statement that he met with his Pakistani counterpart on Friday and reiterated U.S. concerns about the Pakistani Supreme Court ruling and the possible release of the detainees.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan

Shah Mahmoud Qureshi

Mr. Blinken said the motion indicated that it was important and in the public interest that justice be done through legal means.

The United States has not specified how it intends to detain Mr. Sheikh. The United States has no extradition treaty with Pakistan. U.S. officials have indicated that they will likely first see if Pakistan can keep the secret.

In the years following the attacks on the 11th. In September 2001, Pakistan extradited dozens of suspected activists under a secret program that has since been shut down.

-Vakar Gillani and William Mauldin contributed to this article.

Email Sayeed Shah at [email protected]

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

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