Defence lawyer claims prosecution failed to prove case in Pearl’s murder

A three-member bench of Justice Mushir Alam, Justice Sardar Tariq Masood and Justice Yahya Afridi is hearing appeals of the Sindh government and parents of Daniel Pearl

ISLAMABAD: While representing the accused of beheading Wall Street Journal journalist Daniel Pearl, the defence counsel on Tuesday claimed that prosecution has failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.
A three-member bench of Justice Mushir Alam, Justice Sardar Tariq Masood and Justice Yahya Afridi is hearing appeals of the Sindh government and parents of Daniel Pearl seeking suspension of the Sindh High Court (SHC) verdict regarding acquittal of the accused in the Pearl murder case.
Appearing before the bench Mahmood Shaikh, counsel for the accused persons defended his clients, saying recovery which the police have shown in the record is totally fake and full of lies in the matter. Shaikh further said that confession of accused persons was the result of torture and pressure as prosecution failed to corroborate the facts.
Substantiating his arguments, Shaikh submitted that according to the prosecution, buying a printer and scanner is part of a murder conspiracy saying the question is that the printer and scanner were bought from a shopkeeper who did not issue any receipt.
Claiming the prosecution story was in question, Shaikh further apprised the bench that the date of purchase of the printer and scanner was mentioned in the recovery report was the same period while accused persons were in custody of the police.
A member of the bench Justice Yahya Afridi observed that there are strong possibilities that when criminals buy material for a crime, he would not tell the shopkeeper his real name.
To which Shaikh made a point that accused persons were in custody of the police at the time of purchase of printer and scanner, however, there was a contradiction in the statements of the shopkeeper saying the one of the major accused persons, Ahmed Omar Sheikh, did not record any confessional statement.
Shaikh apprised the bench that Ahmed Omar Sheikh had only asked the police to not hand him over to the United States because everyone is shocked to see what is happening with the prisoners in the US.
Shaikh alleged that during adjudication of the Pearl murder case in the court international lobby becomes active saying that there is a concern that if Ahmed Omar Sheikh is acquitted, he will be extradited to the US.
Later, the bench adjourned hearing of the matter till January 20.

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