Dr Shakil Afridi jailed for ‘militant links’

Published: May 30, 2012

Court says Afridi had 'close links' to Lashkar-e-Islam, says his 'love' for group, group's leader was an open secret. PHOTO: INP/FILE

PESHAWAR: The court that convicted Dr Shakil Afridi who helped find Osama bin Laden jailed him for alleged ties to a warlord and not working for the CIA, according to the verdict obtained by AFP Wednesday.

Dr Afridi was last week sentenced to 33 years in prison and found guilty of treason under tribal justice.

A copy of the May 24 verdict said evidence that the accused acted “with other foreign intelligence agencies” could not be taken into account “for the lack of jurisdiction” in the tribal belt.

Instead, it recommended the evidence “be produced before the relevant concerned court for further proceedings under the law,” raising the prospect that Dr Afridi could yet face another trial for treason.

Dr Afridi’s sentencing was met by anger in the United States where the Senate Appropriations Committee voted to cut aid to Pakistan by a symbolic $33 million.

In January, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta confirmed that Afridi had worked for US intelligence by collecting DNA to verify Bin Laden’s presence in the town of Abbottabad where Navy SEALs killed the al Qaeda leader in May 2011.

But the court order said Afridi had “close links” to Lashkar-e-Islam, saying the doctor’s “love” for the group’s leader Mangal Bagh “and association with him was an open secret.”

It said the accused provided two million rupees ($22,000) to Lashkar-e-Islam and helped to provide medical assistance to militant commanders in Khyber.

Officials in Afridi’s home district of Khyber refused to elaborate. Mutahir Zeb Khan, the top administrator, said only: “Reasons given in the judgement are very clear and that’s it.”

On Tuesday, doctor Fuwad Khan, director general of health services in the tribal belt, refuted a smear campaign that Afridi was corrupt and a womaniser.

“There was no complaint against him on the record so no inquiry has ever been conducted as per the official record,” he told AFP.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • Imran Con
    May 30, 2012 - 3:23PM

    Oh give me a break already. Stepping up the dirt slinging isn’t going to be more effective. It’s just reinforcing peoples opinions of what kind of game they’re playing.


  • Batman
    May 30, 2012 - 4:33PM

    Now it’s clear why he was jailed for “waging war against Pakistan”, he was helping anti Pakistan terrorists. Another slap to US. Try him for treason in Pakistani courts, that would be the icing on the cake.


  • Reality Bites
    May 30, 2012 - 4:38PM

    It shows that how much fair the proceedings of these courts in Pakistan are. Earlier to this judgement how many people have been sentenced to 33 years in prison for having terrorists link ?


  • John B
    May 30, 2012 - 5:10PM

    When was the verdict written, on May 27 ?

    Where did he get the $22,000 to pass on to the militants?


  • am i right
    May 30, 2012 - 5:11PM

    So he is a CIA agent who supported anti Pak terror groups to kill Pak civilians and forces. other exposed face of CIA . US will never be a friend with a Islamic nuclear power. Rightly known as backstabbing friend.


  • Ali Ahsan
    May 30, 2012 - 7:53PM

    Right, so they sentence Dr Afridi for having “links” yet they exonerated known terrorists like Malik Ishaq and Lal Masjid brigade of ANY wrongdoing.


  • May 30, 2012 - 9:35PM

    Dear friends
    It does not matter under which, law and tradition, Dr. Afridi is punished. Treason and spying is a crime against the state, nation and people of Pakistan. In USA, you have federal laws and then you have state laws, which are used to convict people. The best example is death penalty. Some states carry it while others do not.
    So USA and the West should stop lecturing Pakistan on ethics and morals and let Pakistan decide its own affairs.


  • Basit
    May 30, 2012 - 10:51PM

    American medal of honor and citizenship forthcoming.


  • gp65
    May 31, 2012 - 12:47AM

    @Bashy Quraishy: “It does not matter under which, law and tradition, Dr. Afridi is punished. Treason and spying is a crime against the state, nation and people of Pakistan”

    It DOES matter that he be given due process of law under Pakistani penal code
    The story now seems to have changed that he was not a CIA agent but rather had ties to militants. When ALL the militants captured by army during 2009 Swat operation were freed, when Malik Ishaq is freed, when Lal Masjid people for whom there is TV footage that they were shooting the scurity forces are freed from conviction charge – Afridi is convicted for’TIES’ to terrorists? This is what happens when due process of law is not followed – miscarriage of justice.

  • Saqibtahir
    May 31, 2012 - 1:18AM

    Is there any credibility left in these kangaroo carts?


  • Naseer
    May 31, 2012 - 2:47AM

    @Basit: American medal of honor and citizenship forthcoming.

    ..and it should be. Dr Afridi took a brave step without the fear of prosecution. If every Pakistani gets a little courage against the criminals and the law enforcement agencies get their act together, Pakistan will be a better place to live.


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