Dr Shakeel Afridi jailed for helping LI, not CIA
31 May, 2012
PESHAWAR: Dr Shakeel Afridi, who helped the United States find Osama bin Laden, was imprisoned because of his close ties to the banned terrorist group Lashkar-e-Islam and not for his links to the CIA, as Pakistani officials had said, according to a court document.
The judgement document was made available to the media on Wednesday. It is unclear why Pakistani officials first said Afridi was jailed over his links to the CIA. The government may have wanted to show a largely anti-American public that Pakistan will not tolerate any cooperation with the US spy agency, especially at a time of troubled relations with Washington. While the document said there was evidence that Afridi "has been shown acting with other foreign intelligence agencies", it noted the court in Khyber had no jurisdiction to act on that. But the court recommended that the evidence may be produced before an appropriate court for further proceedings.
One of the doctor's lawyers, Samiullah Afridi, was baffled after reading the verdict, which he also received on Wednesday. "These charges against him are very different from the ones we were told earlier," he told Reuters.
Meanwhile, authorities on Wednesday said they feared that Afridi could be killed and demanded he be transferred to a more secure prison.
The doctor is being held in the central jail in Peshawar, where Taliban and other terrorists are being held on terror charges. "We have requested the federal government to move Doctor Shakeel Afridi from Peshawar to another jail. We fear he could be attacked," Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain told AFP. "There are more than 3,000 prisoners here and 250 of them are incarcerated on terror charges. These diehard terrorists could attack Afridi," he said.