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Tuesday, 26 February, 2002, 14:34 GMT
US seeks Pearl suspect's extradition
The US wanted to extradite Sheikh Omar months ago
The US ambassador to Pakistan has met President Pervez Musharraf and raised the question of extraditing the prime suspect in the case of the murdered American journalist, Daniel Pearl.

A spokesman for the American embassy said Ambassador Wendy Chamberlain thanked General Musharraf for Pakistani police co-operation on the case, and encouraged further movement.

There is no extradition treaty between Washington and Pakistan, but Islamabad has extradited people to the United States in the past.

Daniel Pearl's body has not been found
The suspect - Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, known as Sheikh Omar - appeared before a court in Karachi on Tuesday.

A witness was asked to identify him, although it is not yet known whether a positive identification was made.

British-born Sheikh Omar was said to have admitted that he was involved in the kidnapping of Mr Pearl, before the news emerged that the journalist had been killed.

American officials say they first requested Sheikh Omar's extradition at least two months before Mr Pearl's abduction on 23 January.

The US Justice Department secretly indicted him for the 1994 kidnapping of four Westerners in India, including an American.

Remanded

American officials say Pakistan has handed over suspects to the US in two cases - the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and a shooting outside CIA headquarters in Washington.

Sheikh Omar has been remanded in custody for a further two weeks.

Pakistani officials have said they want to charge him with murder, but acknowledge that they have yet to find Mr Pearl's body and that they are still looking for a number of other suspects who are still on the run.

A lawyer defending three other suspects held with Sheikh Omar said he wanted his three clients to be extradited to the US along with the alleged ringleader "because they would get a fairer hearing there".

See also:

26 Feb 02 | South Asia
Pearl widow backs hunt for killers
25 Feb 02 | South Asia
Pearl kidnap suspect accuses police
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