Pakistan court orders man accused in American's death freed

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan’s Supreme Court has ordered the release of a Pakistani man convicted and later acquitted in the gruesome beheading of American journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002.

The court also dismissed an appeal of Ahmad Saeed Omar Sheikh’s acquittal by Pearl’s family.

Sheikh has been on death row since his conviction in the death of Pearl in 2002. Sheikh’s attorney said Sheikh “should not have spent one day in jail.”

Attorney Mehmood A. Sheikh, no relation, said the court ordered three other Pakistanis, who had been sentenced to life in prison for their part in Pearl’s kidnapping and death, also freed.

“Today’s decision is a complete travesty of justice and the release of these killers puts in danger journalists everywhere and the people of Pakistan,” the Pearl family said in a statement released by their lawyer.