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Friday, 19 July, 2002, 09:00 GMT 10:00 UK
Pearl killer fights death sentence
 Pakistani police surrounding Omar Sheikh during the trial
Omar Sheikh was the only one sentenced to death
A lawyer for the British-born militant sentenced to death for the kidnap and murder of US journalist Daniel Pearl has filed an appeal challenging his conviction by a court in Pakistan.


It is an excellent case for an appeal...and I am 100 per cent sure that I will be successful

Lawyer for Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh
The militant, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, was sentenced to death on Monday by hanging by an anti-terrorism court in Hyderabad.

Omar Sheikh's defence lawyer, Abdul Waheed Katpar said the verdict had been based on "fake, false and provenly planted evidence" and there had been a gross miscarriage of justice.

Three other defendants in the case - Salman Saqib, Sheikh Adil and Fahad Naseem - were also convicted on Monday and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Their lawyers have already filed appeals earlier this week, while prosecutors have also appealed for the three men to be sentenced to death.

Lengthy appeals

"It is an excellent case for an appeal and two judges will hear the petition and I am 100 per cent sure that I will be successful," Mr Katpar said, after filing the appeal at the Sindh High Court in the southern port city of Karachi.

Daniel Pearl
Daniel Pearl was lured to his death

While Omar Sheikh's appeal is underway he will live on death row in the prison in the southern city of Hyderabad where the trial was held.

Defence lawyers have said the appeals, which could then be passed up to the country's Supreme Court, could take as long as a year to process.

There had been enormous international pressure on the Pakistani authorities to show results in the case.

But the trial has angered Islamic militants, who accuse Pakistan's Government of betraying them by abandoning the Taleban in Afghanistan and supporting the US after the 11 September attacks.

Evidence questioned

Mr Pearl, 38, was kidnapped in Karachi in January while researching Islamic fundamentalism.

A gruesome video of his murder was later sent to US officials in Karachi.

The prosecution's case appeared largely to rest on a confession by Omar Sheikh that he later retracted.

The court also heard evidence from a taxi driver who testified that he had seen him meeting Pearl at a Karachi restaurant the night he disappeared.

Omar Sheikh himself called the trial a "waste of time", and vowed revenge for his death sentence.

Security has been tightened in Karachi since the verdict was announced, with extra police posted at embassies, hotels and American fast food restaurants.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Adam Brookes
"This has been a deeply controversial investigation and trial"
 VOTE RESULTS
Did Omar Sheikh get a fair trial?

Yes
 68.93% 

No
 31.07% 

882 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion


The victim

The militant

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See also:

17 Jul 02 | South Asia
15 Jul 02 | South Asia
15 Jul 02 | South Asia
15 Jul 02 | Politics
21 Jun 02 | South Asia
10 Jul 02 | South Asia
16 Jul 02 | Media reports
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