Serving professional journalism since 1912

Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Journalists

Appeal against death penalty for murderer of journalist Daniel Pearl

The man convicted of murdering US journalist Daniel Pearl in Pakistan in 2002 has filed an appeal against his death sentence.

Pearl was the South Asian bureau chief at the Wall Street Journal when he was kidnapped in January 2002. His body was found a month later in Karachi and in the sensational trial Omar Saeed Sheikh was sentenced to death and three others given life sentences.

Omar filed an appeal against his death sentence in Sindh High Court and today it issued notice to the prosecutor general for a hearing on March 3. It also gave orders to allow Omar Sheikh to meet his lawyers.

Many will recall the shocking video film of Pearl’s murder via the internet when, during the trial it became apparent, that it was in fact a partial reconstruction of what had happened. An inept camera operator missed the moment of his death, which his murderers then re-enacted, before decapitating the reporter.

The men also said they had attempted to sedate Pearl before they killed him and he had resisted. The trial was covered by The Daily Telegraph and read the article if you wish to understand some of the allegations about the police investigations.