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.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ