A local court will formally charge Osama bin Laden’s three widows and two daughters on April 2 for illegally entering and staying in Pakistan.
This was stated by Amir Khalil, Bin Laden’s youngest wife Amal’s counsel, after the hearing was put off for next week by Senior Civil Judge Shah Rukh Arjumand on Monday.
Proceedings for the case are taking place in a house, declared a sub-jail, in F-6 sector, Islamabad, where the slain al Qaeda chief’s family had been kept under tight surveillance following the May 2, 2011, raid which killed Bin Laden.
Khalil said the judge provided copies of the case and a charge-sheet along with evidence to the five accused women for violating immigration laws of Pakistan.
Amal’s brother, Zikrya Alsada, expressed satisfaction over the proceedings while talking to reporters outside the sub-jail.
He thanked the court for allowing him to witness the proceedings and hoped for justice for his sister and her children.
If the women are convicted, they are liable to be deported or imprisoned, the counsel said, according to AFP. Under the law, the maximum sentence is five years.
Alsada had also moved the high court of Islamabad last week to quash the charges against Amal, saying that she was detained by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), along with her five children after the May 2 raid last year in which Bin Laden was killed by US commandos.
He claimed that his sister was being involved in the case with mala fide intentions and ulterior movies and insisted that she never committed any crime. He added that Amal could not be charged for harboring a criminal because she was living with her husband in his house.
Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman accepted Zikray’s petition for regular hearing.
ADDITIONAL INPUT BY AFP
Published in The Express Tribune, March 27th, 2012.
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