KARACHI                  -                    The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday commuted the death sentence of prime suspect Ahmed Omer Sheikh to seven years in prison in the abduction and murder case of American journalist Daniel Pearl. Justice KK Agha and Justice Zulfiqar Ali Sangi issued the verdict on appeals, lodged by the suspects against their sentences, after 18 years and acquitted the other three accused who had been handed over life terms earlier.

Fahad Naseem, Salman Saqib and Sheikh Adil were the co-accused. Ahmed Omer Sheikh, the main accused, is a British national.

The SHC remarked that the kidnapping case was proven against Ahmed Omer Sheikh while the murder accusations were not proven against any of the suspects.

An antiterrorism court had handed over death sentence to Ahmed Omer Sheikh and life terms to Fahad Naseem, Salman Saqib and Sheikh Adil on July 15, 2002 for abducting Daniel Pearl for ransom and killing him afterwards. Daniel Pearl was working as the South Asia Bureau Chief of The Wall Street Journal.