Family of journalist Pearl to appeal against freeing of men convicted of his murder

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The family of US journalist Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped and beheaded in Pakistan in 2001, plans to appeal to Pakistan’s Supreme Court to overturn a decision to free the four men convicted of his murder.

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A panel of three judges of the court on Thursday threw out the 2002 murder convictions against the four Islamists, including group’s British-born ringleader, Ahmad Omar Saeed Sheikh.

Kidnapping convictions were left in place, but the men were ordered freed as they had already served out sentences for the kidnapping charges.

The Pearl family “intends to file a review petition against the illegal and unjust majority decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan,” said a statement issued by the family’s lawyer, Faisal Siddiqui, on Saturday night.

On Friday, Pakistan’s provincial Sindh government also filed an appeal to the Supreme Court to review its decision. A hearing for that appeal has been set for Monday.

The US has expressed concern over the ruling and new US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for accountability in his first phone call with Pakistan’s foreign minister on Friday.

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