KARACHI, June 3: Police took into custody a local journalist of an online news agency on Monday in connection with the investigation of the slain US reporter, Daniel Pearl. He was let off late at night.

Amir Latif, a staffer of the Online, was called by the Crime Investigation Department. He went to see DSP Farooq Awan at noon at the CID office in the old city area where he was questioned till late into the night.

“Amir is sitting right in front of me, and we are trying to seek some information from him in connection with the Daniel Pearl kidnapping and murder case,” Farooq Awan told Dawn.

However, the IG Sindh, Syed Kamal Shah, said: “It (Amir’s detention) is not in my knowledge.” He added that he would look into the matter whether or not Amir was in custody.

Sources close to Amir said he had been pressured to identify some suspects, whom he did not know. They said the video cassette showing the killing of Daniel Pearl was delivered at the office of the Online news agency in Karachi and none of the staff could identify those who had delivered the movie.

They claimed that Amir was also unable to identify them, but he was pressured to recognize those suspects, who were in police custody, and police implicated them in the Daniel Pearl kidnapping and murder case.

Amir, who was returned his mobile phone late at night, said he was told to call in Mr Marshall, the chief of the Online, who resided in Islamabad, at the CID office. Amir was told that he would not be let off until Mr Marshall appeared before the CID.

After officials of the provincial and federal governments intervened in the matter, he was allowed to go home late at night.

The CID told him to again come over to their office on Tuesday, Amir told this reporter.

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