ISLAMABAD: Osama bin Laden’s family is expected to be deported from Pakistan early Wednesday, their lawyer and an intelligence official said, 11 months after the US raid that killed the al Qaeda kingpin.
The 9/11 mastermind’s three widows and their children were detained by the Pakistani authorities after the Saudi was killed in a US Navy SEAL operation in the town of Abbottabad, north of Islamabad, last May.
They are due to complete a short sentence of detention for illegally entering and residing in Pakistan on Tuesday.
“They will go tonight or tomorrow early in the morning. After 12 tonight they can be deported any time,” their lawyer Muhammad Aamir told AFP on Tuesday.
Aamir said the family – who number 12, including bin Laden’s three widows, eight children and one grandchild – would probably initially go to Saudi Arabia.
He said bin Laden’s youngest and reportedly favourite wife, Amal Abdulfattah, who is Yemeni, may be sent to Yemen afterwards with her five children.
A Pakistani intelligence official confirmed to AFP that the family was expected to be deported “sometime around midnight” and said “most likely they would be flown to Saudi Arabia.”
Deportation may be delayed
Federal Minister for Interior Rehman Malik on Tuesday hinted that the deportation process may delay the departure of Osama bin Laden’s family from Pakistan.
Speaking to media, he said that in order to deport the widows of Osama Bin Laden, letters had been written to the diplomatic representatives of relative countries.
He added that once confirmation is received from the respective embassies, Bin Laden’s family will be deported.
The widows had been handed a 45 day detention notice and Rs10000 fine for illegally entering Pakistan. That notice expires at midnight.