Osama bin Laden—File Photo
Osama bin Laden was killed in a raid by US Navy SEALS in Abbottabad, an operation Dr Shakil Afridi has been accused of assisting by providing information on Bin Laden's whereabouts through a fake anti-polio campaign in the city .—File Photo

PESHAWAR: A Pakistani physician accused of assisting the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in obtaining DNA samples of Osama Bin Laden through a fake vaccination campaign was, on Wednesday, convicted for involvement in anti-state activities by a tribal court, a senior government official said.

"Dr Shakil Afridi was produced before a four-member tribal court Wednesday morning and was sentenced to 33 years in prison and also given a 3,20,000-rupee fine," Political Agent, Khyber tribal region, Mutahir Zeb Khan told Dawn.

Soon after his conviction, Afridi was sent to the Central Prison in Peshawar.

The court was headed by a deputy administrator responsible for Bara region.

Afridi was charged under the British-time Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) that unlike the Pakistan Criminal Code (CPRC), does not carry death penalty for high treason.

A judicial commission investigating the circumstances leading to the death of Al Qaeda chief, Osama bin Laden in a US navy seal raid in the northern city of Abbottabad in May, 2011, had recommended in October last that Afridi be charged with high treason.

Had Afridi been charged under Pakistani penal law, he was almost certain to have been awarded the death penalty, a lawyer said. The court also ordered confiscation of Afridi’s assets and seizure of his bank accounts.

Afridi was picked up by Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) from near Peshawar, two weeks after Osama’s death. The official said that Afridi had accepted helping the CIA by running a fake vaccination campaign in Abbottabad a month before the raid on OBL’s compound.

AFP adds: In January, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta confirmed Afridi had worked for US intelligence by collecting DNA to verify bin Laden's presence and expressed concern about Pakistan's treatment of him.

“He was not in any way treasonous towards Pakistan,” Panetta told CBS television's “60 Minutes”.

“For them to take this kind of action against somebody who was helping to go after terrorism, I just think is a real mistake on their part.”

Opinion

A fragmenting ummah
Updated 23 Jul 2021

A fragmenting ummah

Muslims are suffering in many parts of the world, all of which is known by other Muslims, but that nevertheless continues.
Virtual vultures
Updated 22 Jul 2021

Virtual vultures

Pegasus software has stirred a storm of indignation across the globe.
Shifting goalposts
Updated 20 Jul 2021

Shifting goalposts

Afghanistan is one place where proxy war by regional and bigger powers has always been a constant.

Editorial

India’s admission
Updated 21 Jul 2021

India’s admission

It was no secret that India had been manoeuvring behind the scenes to ensure that Pakistan remained on the grey list.
EU headscarf ban
Updated 23 Jul 2021

EU headscarf ban

Moves by the EU to curtail the religious freedoms of Muslims and others in the bloc need to be reviewed.
Disposal of offal
Updated 22 Jul 2021

Disposal of offal

The least people can do is to make an effort and dump entrails in designated areas.
New blow for Pak-Afghan ties
Updated 20 Jul 2021

New blow for Pak-Afghan ties

Islamabad police need to build a watertight case around their final conclusions because the stakes could not have been higher.
20 Jul 2021

FDI decline

THE worrisome, sharp decline in the more permanent, non-debt-creating foreign direct investment, or FDI, should be a...
20 Jul 2021

Another tragic accident

ALMOST every other week, if not every other day, newspapers report deadly road and rail accidents. It has been ...