Formal arguments in Dr Afridi case fixed for August 30

WHO denies the doctor had links to any polio eradication programme.

Umer Farooq July 20, 2012


Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) Commissioner Tariq Jamil has accepted for formal arguments the case against alleged US collaborator Dr Shakil Afridi, his lawyer said on Thursday. The case will be resumed on August 30, he said.

During the last hearing of the case on May 21, Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) Commissioner Tariq Jamil had adjourned the case for July 19 due to unavailability of “relevant case records”.

However, the hearing which was to commence at 11.00 am was not resumed despite the record reaching the office of the FCR commissioner in time.

Samiullah Afridi, counsel for Shakil, told The Express Tribune that the case had been accepted for formal arguments and this would take place on August 30.

Dr Afridi was accused of running a phony vaccination campaign, in which he collected DNA samples that helped the American spy agency hunt down Bin Laden in May last year.

The court of Assistant Political Agent (APA) for Bara sub-division of Khyber Agency, Nasir Khan, sentenced Dr Afridi to 33-year imprisonment and a fine of Rs320,000 following a secret trial at an undisclosed location.

WHO rebuttal

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has denied that Dr Afridi used a polio vaccination campaign to track down the al Qaeda chief in Abbottabad.

“These baseless allegations have damaged the on-going vaccination campaigns and WHO would like to confirm that Dr Afridi had absolutely no links with any polio vaccination campaign,” said a press release by the WHO.

“Allegedly Dr Afridi was inoculating hepatitis vaccine with syringes and was collecting blood samples in the neighbourhood for genetic investigations. WHO would like to clarify that not only was Dr Afridi not part of the polio eradication programme but also that the polio vaccine is currently administered with only two drops for all children below five years of age and therefore does not allow collection of blood samples for any use.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2012.

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