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.

  • zaakiro - 2012-05-23 15:09

    I guess if it was an America who provided info to the Pakistani Military then it would be considered treason by the CIA. Double Standards as usual.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-05-23 15:30

      Unfortunately you don't understand as usual. Pakistan is expected by the international community to be a normal country that doesn't harbor and support individuals and groups that detonate car bombs and carry out suicide attacks on innocent civilians the world over in their attempts to terrorize populations so they can hijack political and social power and prevent positive changes, such as towards universal suffrage, human rights, and individual freedoms. As long as the Pakistani government does not commit itself wholly to this most basic human endeavor, it, and you, will be on the unstable, darker fringes of humanity. There is a real struggle going on in Pakistan about this. I hope for the Pakistani people and for humanity the forces of right and enlightenment win the day. I believe they will. Unfortunately you're doing little to move things forward in this regard, which unfortunately makes you an obstacle to human and Pakistani evolution at the moment.

      Squeegee - 2012-05-23 15:30

      Your statement assumes that Bin Laden was an agent/employee of Pakistan. Mmm, maybe you are right.

      Gerhard - 2012-05-24 11:56

      Pakistan is just another failed state.

  • louis.langenhoven - 2012-05-23 15:29

    typical of Pakistan- in truth they were hiding O bin Laden

      Ababeel Sherwani - 2012-05-23 16:18

      lol...louis u know nothing wts going on there. Big game on there to control China

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-05-24 15:48

      How does sentencing a man who was helping find a mad mass-murderer to 33 years in prison relate to "controlling China"?

  • wesleywt - 2012-05-23 16:24

    Pakistan is not allies, they are enemies. Stop giving them money USA.

  • DREGstudios - 2012-05-23 22:28

    One year after Bin Laden’s death and over 10 years since 9/11, American citizens are still blindly allowing their civil liberties to be taken away one piece of legislation at a time. How much freedom are we willing to sacrifice to feel safe? Under the guise of fighting terrorism, the Patriot Act was adopted WITHOUT public approval or vote just weeks after the twin towers fell. These laws are simply a means to spy on our own citizens and to detain and torture dissidents without trial or a right to council. You can read much more about living in this Orwellian society of fear and see my visual response to these measures on my artist’s blog at

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