Breaking News Bar
updated: 11/22/2013 6:25 PM

Pakistan doctor who helped catch Bin Laden charged with murder

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Pakistani doctor Shakil Afridi in Pakistan's tribal area of Jamrud in Khyber region.

      Pakistani doctor Shakil Afridi in Pakistan's tribal area of Jamrud in Khyber region.
    Associated Press/July 9, 2010

 
Associated Press

PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- A Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA find Osama bin Laden has been charged with murder over a 2006 surgery he performed, his lawyer said Friday, raising new doubts whether the physician will regain his freedom.

Shakil Afridi already is being held in prison pending retrial on a separate charge, despite U.S. officials demanding he be released. The case has caused friction between Pakistan and the U.S., complicating a relationship that Washington views as vital for fighting the Taliban and al-Qaida, as well as negotiating an end to the war in neighboring Afghanistan.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

The murder charge stems from a complaint over a teenage boy who died after Afridi performed surgery on him for appendicitis in 2006.

The complaint, filed by the deceased teenage boy's mother, Nasib Gula, says Afridi was not authorized to operate on her son because he was a physician, not a surgeon, said the doctor's lawyer, Samiullah Afridi. The boy died from complications following the surgery, which took place in Pakistan's remote Khyber tribal area, the lawyer said.

The lawyer, who is not related to his client, said the case had no merit because too much time had passed since the incident. The trial has been scheduled for mid-December, he said.

The doctor is currently being held in prison. He was convicted of "conspiring against the state" in May 2012 and sentenced to 33 years in prison. His conviction was related to allegations that he gave money and provided medical treatment to Islamic militants in Khyber, not for helping the CIA track down bin Laden. The doctor's family and the militants denied the allegations.

A senior judicial officer overturned the prison sentence and ordered his re-trial in August, saying the person who sentenced the doctor was not authorized to hear the case.

Afridi's situation has sparked widely divergent views inside and outside of Pakistan.

In the U.S. and other Western nations, Afridi was viewed as a hero who had helped eliminate the world's most wanted man. The doctor ran a vaccination program for the CIA to collect DNA in an attempt to verify the al-Qaida leader's presence at the compound in the town of Abbottabad. U.S. commandos later killed bin Laden there in May 2011 in a unilateral raid.

Pakistani officials were outraged by the bin Laden operation, which led to international suspicion that they had been harboring al-Qaida's founder. In their eyes, Afridi was a traitor who had collaborated with a foreign spy agency in an illegal operation on Pakistani soil.

Also Friday, a pair of bombs exploded in the southern city of Karachi, killing five people and wounding 19 others, hospital official Abbasi Shaheed said. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here