ISLAMABAD: Pakistan could take several more days to deport the widows and children of Osama bin Laden to Saudi Arabia, and perhaps Yemen, the former Al Qaeda leader's brother-in-law said on Thursday.
The three women and two children were detained by Pakistani security forces after a secret US special forces raid killed Osama in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad in May last year.
This month, a Pakistani court sentenced the women to 45 days in prison for illegally staying in the country. It ordered their deportation after the prison term which began on March 3 when they were formally arrested.
Once outside Pakistan, Osama’s relatives could reveal details about how the world's most wanted man was able to hide in US ally Pakistan for years.
Yemen-born Amal Al-Sadeh, the youngest widow, and her four children were among the 16 people detained by Pakistani authorities after the US raid that killed Osama. Two other wives from Saudi Arabia were also detained.
Speculation had been swirling the relatives would be deported on Wednesday but Zakariya al-Sadeh, Amal's brother, said paperwork between Pakistani authorities and the Saudi and Yemeni embassies needed processing.
“We need a few more days,” he told Reuters. “This will require time.”
Asked if his sister would go to Yemen, Sadeh said: “The most important thing is they leave Pakistan. If God is willing, the situation will be better when they reach their families. If God is willing, they will leave soon.”