The man convicted in the gruesome death of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl could walk out of prison this week after Pakistan’s Supreme Court refused a government request to suspend a lower court’s ruling exonerating him of Pearl’s murder, reports Fox News.
Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh’s murder conviction and death sentence was overturned by the Sindh High Court in April, though he was ordered to remain in detention for 90 days under a public order regulation that allows detainees to be held longer if their release could incite violence and chaos.
Saeed Sheikh has been in prison for 18 years, all spent on death row.
Pearl was kidnapped in 2002 while working on a story about Islamic militants. A videotape received by U.S. diplomats in February of that year confirmed the 38-year-old was dead. He had been beheaded.
The ruling has generated outrage from Pearl’s family, media rights groups, and the U.S. government.
“We’re standing up for justice, not only for our son but for all our dear friends in Pakistan so they can live in a society free of violence and terrorism,” Judea Pearl said in an emotional video message on Twitter in May.
Ruth and Judea Pearl have filed an appeal with the Pakistani Supreme Court to overturn the acquittal of their son’s murderers.
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