The four people freed in the kidnapping and murder of the 2002 Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Peal in Pakistan have been arrested again and will remain detained while prosecutors appeal the verdict in the country’s Supreme Court, announcing Pakistan’s interior ministry on Friday.
Three were sentenced to life, and the fourth, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, was awaiting execution. The Karachi court last week reduced Sheikh’s sentence to seven years for kidnapping after last month’s appeal hearing.
Following worldwide outrage over the reversal of the guilty verdict, the four men have been detained again and will remain behind bars “for a period of three months while awaiting an appeal,” the interior ministry said.
The statement stressed “the government’s commitment to follow the legal process under state law to bring terrorists to duty.”
A Twitter post by the US State Department’s Bureau for South and Central Asian Affairs, signed with the initial Acting Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia Alice Wells, reads: “We welcome Pakistan’s # 3 statement and the Sindh government’s decision to continue to hold those responsible for the kidnapping and murder of Daniel Pearl and for making a strong appeal. The perpetrators of this horrific act of terrorism will not escape justice. “
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