Plea against Pak doctor's bin Laden conviction

Plea against Pak doctor's bin Laden conviction

Pakistani lawyers said on Friday they would appeal the conviction for treason handed down by a tribal court to a surgeon recruited by US intelligence to help find Osama bin Laden.

The archaic form of justice that governs Pakistan’s semi-autonomous tribal belt on Wednesday jailed Shakeel Afridi for 33 years for agreeing to try and collect DNA for the US intelligence in their bid to locate bin Laden.

Afridi ran a fake vaccination programme designed to collect bin Laden family DNA from the compound in the town of Abbottabad, where the al-Qaeda leader was shot dead in a US raid in May 2011.

“We have requested the Khyber administration to provide us with the documents related to the trial and conviction, and once we get them, we will file an appeal in the office of the commissioner of the Frontier Crimes Regulation,” said lawyer Samiullah Afridi.

The lawyer, general secretary of the Peace Movement, a civil society group against militancy, said his organisation did not believe the doctor committed any crime, but had instead worked “to help eliminate terrorism”.


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