Pakistani charged with treason over bin Laden hunt

Featured - May 24th, 2012
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A former CIA director has been charged with treason in Islamabad for helping in the hunt for Osama bin Laden. The Al-Qaeda leader was shot dead by US Navy Seals after Shakeel Afridi, who was also a former government doctor in Khyber, located in the tribal belt, put up a fake vaccination campaign to collect DNA samples to verify the presence of bin Laden in the city.

He was sentenced for 33 years in prison and fined 320,000 rupees ($3,500) after a Khyber local court ruled him guilty. Under the tribal system, Afridi was not given a chance to defend himself through a lawyer. US rejected the charges against Afridi, demanding a pardon, as it may implicate US financial assistance.

The US senate threatened to cut $900m aid to Pakistan after it closed the passage of US and NATO military goods to Afghanistan in response to the killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers in a US airstrike. US defense secretary, Leon Panetta, said Afridi played a vital role in locating the mastermind behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks that were not in any way treasonous to Pakistan.