KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday adjourned the hearing of appeals filed by convicts in the murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl because of the absence of the defence lawyers.
A two-judge headed by Justice Salahuddin Panhwar directed the counsel for the defence to appear on February 20 to present their case.
The lawyer representing the convict, Ahmed Omar Sheikh, remained absent during the proceedings that resulted in the adjournment of the case.
The main accused, Sheikh, who was sentenced to death on charges of kidnapping and killing the US journalist and his three accomplices – Fahad Naseem, Salman Saqib and Sheikh Adil – who were sentenced to life imprisonment, had appealed against their conviction and sentences in 2002.
Pearl, the South Asia bureau chief of the Wall Street Journal, was kidnapped on January 23, 2002, from Karachi and later beheaded by his captors.
An anti-terrorism court sentenced Omar Sheikh and ordered him to Rs2 million to Pearl’s widow. The convicts had filed an appeal against the conviction in July 2002.
The court had ordered in 2014 to provide humane conditions to the convict who remained in solitary death cell ever since his conviction. This was done after Omar’s wife had filed a petition against the prison authorities for denying him of basic necessities.