Sindh to hire private counsel to plead Daniel Pearl case appeal

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    Karachi, April 5 (IANS) The Sindh government has decided to hire a private counsel to plead appeal against the provincial high court’s order to acquit and release the accused in the case of slain American journalist Daniel Pearl, who was abducted and beheaded in Pakistan 18 years ago, it was reported on Sunday.

    The Sindh High Court on April 2 commuted the death sentence of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, the mastermind of the murder, to seven years and acquitted three others who were serving life terms in the case almost two decades after they were found guilty and jailed, The Express Tribune reported.
    But the federal interior Ministry said on Friday that the Sindh government has decided to file an appeal against the judgment before the Supreme Court next week “in order to ensure that the ends of justice are met”.
    The provinical government re-arrested and detained the four accused for a period of three months, pending filing of the appeal.
    A senior official in Sindh government told The Express Tribune on Saturday that it will engage a private counsel to file a criminal appeal.
    However the name of the counsel was yet to be decided, he added.
    The official said that different federal departments, including Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) office, were also in touch with provincial authorities.
    These departments have also advised the Sindh government to engage a private counsel to argue the case in the apex court, he told The Express Tribune.
    Pearl, 38, a Wall Street Journal reporter, was investigating militants in Karachi after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the US when he was kidnapped in January 2002.
    He was later beheaded.

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