Suspect owns up to sending e-mail: Pearl case -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Suspect owns up to sending e-mail: Pearl case

KARACHI- One of the suspects in the Daniel Pearl kidnapping case confessed on Thursday before a judicial magistrate that prime suspect Shaikh Umer had asked him to send the e-mail about the kidnapping of the US journalist.

In his confessional statement before the magistraial court, Fahad Naseem, an employee at a cyber cafe, disclosed that his cousin, Salman Saqib, had introduced him to the prime suspect, who had assigned him the task of sending messages and photograph through e-mail.

His attorney, Khawaja Naveed, who was allowed by Judicial Magistrate Irum Jahangir to go through the confessional statement of the suspect, told reporters that the role of his client was confined only to the sending of the e-mail messages.

He said according to the confessional statement his client had met Shaikh Umer on Jan 21 at a house in Karachi, where he had also seen a man, Qasim, and an unknown bearded man. He said the prime suspect had wanted him to send some e-mails.

The suspect revealed that later Salman had got Rs175,000 changed from a money changer near the Karachi Stock Exchange and they had bought a camera from a shop near Reagal Chowk in Saddar.

Fahad said he had asked Shaikh Umer as to why they had kidnapped the US journalist when he (the Shaikh) had given him the messages for e-mail. He also stated that the prime suspect had also asked him not to ask questions as it could invite problem for him.

He said Shaikh Umer had later told him that they had kidnapped the US journalist because he was a Jew and was working against Islam. Referring to Fahad’s statement, the defence counsel said it was an “exculpatory type” confession. “Such type of confession has no evidentiary value as it was made 14 days after the arrest of the suspect.”

The counsel, referring to the confession, said that his client had never seen the abducted journalist. “Nor did he know the whereabouts of the abductee”, he said.

Answering a question, he said his client would not become an approver in the case.

The 21-year-old suspect, clad in a white shalwar-qameez, was brought with his face muffled to the City court premises amid extraordinary security around 12:50pm.

The suspect, still muffled, was brought out from the court around 2:37pm and was taken away in an armoured personnel carrier.

Hundreds of policemen, supervised by dozens of officers, had taken positions at different points on the premises of the city courts since morning. The cops did not allow any motorcycle or automobile inside the court premises.

Several policemen were put on guard on the rooftops, while many others were deployed on the stairs, leading to the court of Judicial Magistrate Irum Jahangir on the third floor.

A large number of litigants and lawyers waited in the open for the whole day as they were not allowed to get any close to the court of the judicial magistrate. Several lawyers were also seen exchanging hot words with the deployed policemen.

Source: Dawn
Date:2/22/2002