South Asia

Pakistani doctor who aided CIA charged with murder

Shakeel Afridi  

Even as Shakeel Afridi, who allegedly helped the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) track down Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad, waits for a decision on re-trial of his earlier case, the doctor has been charged with murdering a boy in 2006-2007 while performing a surgery on him in Khyber Agency.

The case was registered by the Khyber agency administration on Thursday, Dr. Afridi’s lawyer Samiullah told The Hindu on the phone from Peshawar.

Mr. Samiullah said the boy’s death took place some years ago when Dr. Afridi was practising in a government-run hospital in Bara. However, the mother of the boy Naseeba Gul, who filed a complaint last month, said her son was operated on by Dr. Afridi in a private hospital.

The complainant said Dr. Afridi was not a qualified surgeon and was not competent enough to handle surgery.

Mr. Samiullah said appendectomy was performed on the boy, besides two operations.

Earlier sentence

Even after a 33-year sentence pronounced in May was overturned in August, Dr. Afridi continues to be lodged in Peshawar jail. On August 29, the Frontier Crimes Regulation Commissioner in Peshawar, the late Sahebzada Anees ur Rehman, set aside the trial and sentencing of Dr. Afridi.

While Dr. Afridi was arrested in 2011 after the Pakistan government believed he was part of an unauthorised vaccination campaign to collect DNA samples from the bin Laden household, the charges slapped on him were different.

Instead, The Frontier Crimes Regulation was invoked. It has stringent provisions, including suspension of fundamental rights. “This was done to keep him behind bars,” Mr. Samiullah said. It was a completely one-sided and false case, the lawyer added. Dr. Afridi was sentenced for allegedly having links with a banned terror outfit, Lashkar-i-Islam.

The decision in August overturning the judgement came after his lawyer had gone on appeal to the commissioner.

The commissioner had ruled that the assistant political agent of the Bara subdivision, who passed the sentence, had no authority to try the accused. He said the accused would have to be tried by a political agent, who must act as assistant judge, in a sessions court.

Meanwhile, news reports said a warrant for the arrest of Dr. Afridi in the new murder case has been sent. The trial is expected to start mid-December.

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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 12:33:57 AM |

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