Pakistani doctor Shakil Afridi. File picture: Qazi Rauf/AP
Pakistani doctor Shakil Afridi. File picture: Qazi Rauf/AP

Prosecutor warned about delays in appeal of doctor who helped CIA trace bin Laden

By DPA Time of article published Oct 9, 2019

Share this article:

Islamabad -  A court in Pakistan on Wednesday warned a government prosecutor about seeking to adjourn the appeal of a doctor who helped the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) trace al-Qaeda's founding chief Osama bin Laden, officials and a lawyer said.

The Peshawar High Court adjourned the hearing into Doctor Shakeel Afridi's appeal until October 22, with a warning that no further delay would be tolerated, his lawyer Qamar Nadeem said.

Afridi is accused of running a fake polio vaccination drive in the northern Pakistani city of Abbottabad to confirm the presence of bin Laden in a compound.

It was after the confirmation by Afridi that US Navy SEALs stormed the hideout in a night raid to kill bin Laden in 2011, ending one of the longest running manhunts in history.

Afridi is considered a hero by the United States but a traitor in Pakistan, where he was handed 23-year jail term on charges of funding a militant group affiliated with the Taliban in 2012.

Pakistan officials accused the medic of treason for leading the CIA to bin Laden, but he was never formally charged.

The court issued the warning after the prosecutor said he wasn't prepared to argue in the appeal by Afridi, who has sought to quash the conviction by a tribal judge.

"We hope the appeal will start moving from the next hearing," said lawyer Nadeem, after proceedings took place in open court for the first time.

The judges might issue a one-sided decision if the prosecutor keeps seeking adjournments in future, court official Roohul Amin Khan said.


Share this article: