Pakistan jails bin Laden's family for illegal stay
A Pakistani court jailed former al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's three widows and two daughters for 45 days after finding them guilty of illegally staying in the country, their lawyers said on Monday.world Updated: Apr 03, 2012 01:23 IST
A Pakistani court jailed former al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's three widows and two daughters for 45 days after finding them guilty of illegally staying in the country, their lawyers said on Monday.
In practice, that means they will serve 14 days in prison because they have been in detention since March 3. Bin Laden's family members will eventually be deported to their home countries, the lawyers said.
"They were sentenced to 45 days' imprisonment and fined Rs10,000 each. The money was paid on the spot," Aamir Khalil, one of the lawyers, said.
The relatives are being detained in a heavily guarded three-storey house in a residential neighbourhood of Islamabad. Few have access to the family, and legal proceedings took place at the house because of security concerns.
Analysts had said Pakistan may have preferred a lengthy prison sentence for the family to prevent them from discussing details of their time in Pakistan.
Once outside Pakistan, bin Laden's relatives could reveal details about how the world's most wanted man was able to hide in US ally Pakistan for years, possibly assisted by elements of the country's powerful military and spy agency.
"The Pakistan military and intelligence are confident that the facts are already known to America," said Talat Masood, a political analyst.
Pakistan's government and military have said they had no links to bin Laden.
Any revelations about ties to bin Laden could embarrass Islamabad and infuriate Washington, which staged a decade-long hunt for bin Laden after the 9/11 attacks on the United States.