Bloomberg News

Pakistani Doctor Who Hunted Bin Laden Appeals Jail Sentence

June 01, 2012

A Pakistani doctor who helped the U.S. search for Osama bin Laden appealed a 33-year jail sentence delivered by a tribal court for conspiring with militants.

Shakil Afridi’s lawyers submitted the appeal today, Tariq Jamil, a commissioner at the court, said by telephone from Peshawar today.

Afridi was imprisoned for providing funding and medical assistance to the now defunct militant group Lashkar-e-Islam, which killed members of the public and security forces in a series of attacks, the court said in the five-page ruling given to reporters in Peshawar this week.

The appellant had no links with Lashkar-e-Islam, didn’t provide medical help and was kidnapped by the group in 2008 and forced to pay 1 million rupees ($10,675) as ransom, according to the appeal document. “The allegations of financial assistance of 2 million rupees are false and baseless.”

U.S. and Pakistani officials said Afridi ran a fake vaccination program in Abbottabad, the Pakistani town where al- Qaeda leader bin Laden hid for as long as five years, in a bid to obtain a DNA sample from those living in the compound where he was shot dead by Navy SEALs in May 2011, according to the Washington Post.

The details of his sentencing made available yesterday for the first time make no mention of the Abbottabad program, while stating that allegations Afridi conspired with foreign intelligence agencies were outside its jurisdiction.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anwar Shakir in Peshawar, Pakistan at ashakir1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Hirschberg at phirschberg@bloomberg.net;


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