The Pakistani court that convicted a doctor who helped find Osama bin Laden jailed him for alleged ties to a warlord and not for working for the CIA, according to the court’s verdict.
Shakeel Afridi was last week sentenced to 33 years in prison and found guilty of treason under Pakistan’s archaic system of tribal justice.
A copy of the May 24 verdict said evidence that the accused acted “with other foreign intelligence agencies” could not be taken into account “for the lack of jurisdiction” in the tribal belt.
Instead, it recommended the evidence “be produced before the relevant concerned court for further proceedings under the law,” raising the prospect that Afridi could yet face another trial for treason.
Afridi’s sentencing was met by anger in the US where the Senate Appropriations Committee voted to cut aid to Pakistan by a symbolic $33 million.
In January, defence secretary Leon Panetta confirmed that Afridi had worked for US intelligence by collecting DNA to verify bin Laden’s presence in the town of Abbottabad.
But the court order said Afridi had “close links” to tribal militant group Lashkar-e-Islam, saying the doctor’s “love” for the group’s leader Mangal Bagh “and association with him was an open secret”.
It said the accused provided two million rupees ($22,000) to Lashkar-e-Islam and helped militant commanders in Khyber.