Daniel Pearl murder convict attempts suicide in Pakistan

Published February 15, 2014
Daniel Pearl. – File Photo
Daniel Pearl. – File Photo

KARACHI: A British-Pakistani man convicted of the killing of US reporter Daniel Pearl has attempted to commit suicide in a Pakistani prison, an official said Saturday.

“Omar Sheikh, a British-Pakistani, who is serving life imprisonment in Hyderabad prison, tried to hang himself with the exhaust of the prison cell late Friday,” senior police official Akram Naeem told AFP.

Pearl was working for the Wall Street Journal when he was kidnapped and beheaded in Pakistan in 2002.

British-born extremist Omar was arrested with three others and convicted in June 2002 of Pearl's murder by an anti-terror court.

Akram said Saturday that security officials saw Omar and rescued him quickly.

“His condition is stable now and a case has been filed against him in the local police station,” he added.

In Pakistan prisoners who attempt to commit suicide can face additional punishment.

Pearl, 38, was the South Asia bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal when he was abducted in Karachi on January 23, 2002, while researching a story about Islamist militants.

A graphic video showing his decapitation was delivered to the US consulate in the city nearly a month later.

In January 2011, a report released by the Pearl project at Georgetown University following an investigation into his death made chilling revelations when it claimed that the wrong men were convicted for Pearl's murder.

The investigation, led by Pearl's friend and former Wall Street Journal colleague Asra Nomani and a Georgetown University professor, claimed the reporter was murdered by Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the alleged brains behind the September 11 2001 attacks, not Omar Sheikh.

Pearl's body was found four months after he disappeared, cut into a dozen pieces, the head severed, the upper torso still clad in a light blue track suit that his kidnappers made him wear, the report said.

Self-proclaimed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was arrested in Pakistan in 2003 and is being held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, awaiting trial by a US military tribunal.

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