Pakistani gets 33 years over bin Laden

2012-05-23 14:59

Peshawar - A Pakistani surgeon recruited by the CIA to help find Osama bin Laden was jailed on Wednesday for 33 years for treason, officials said.

Shakeel Afridi, who was sacked as a government doctor two months ago, was found guilty under the tribal justice system of Khyber district, part of Pakistan's semi-autonomous tribal belt.

In addition to his jail sentence, he was fined $3 500. The doctor had worked for years as a surgeon in lawless Khyber, part of the Taliban and al-Qaeda infested tribal belt.

"He has been sentenced for 33 years on treason charges and has been moved to Peshawar central jail after the verdict was announced by the local court," said Mohammad Siddiq, spokesperson for the administrative head of Khyber.

In January, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta confirmed Afridi had worked for US intelligence by collecting DNA to verify bin Laden's presence and expressed concern about Pakistan's treatment of him.

"He was not in any way treasonous towards Pakistan," Panetta told CBS television's 60 Minutes.

"For them to take this kind of action against somebody who was helping to go after terrorism, I just think is a real mistake on their part."

US Navy Seals killed bin Laden in the northwestern city of Abbottabad on 2 May 2011 but had not been 100% sure that the al-Qaeda leader had been living in the compound before the raid.

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  osama bin laden  |  pakistan  |  us  |  security
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