TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Pakistan doctor who helped CIA get bin Laden charged with murder

AFP/Getty Images
Pakistani surgeon Shakeel Afridi is regarded by many of his countrymen as a traitor for helping the United States locate Osama bin Laden.

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Los Angeles Times
Friday, Nov. 22, 2013, 6:15 p.m.
 

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — A local Pakistani government handed down murder charges this week against a doctor who helped the CIA track down Osama bin Laden, a move that could worsen already strained ties between Washington and Islamabad.

Dr. Shakil Afridi was hailed as a hero by U.S. officials for organizing a fake vaccination campaign in Abbottabad on behalf of the CIA in a bid to collect DNA and otherwise confirm the identity of the al-Qaida leader.

When a raid by SEALs in May 2011 killed bin Laden, Pakistan was outraged. Many consider Afridi a traitor.

The helicopter raid was an embarrassment for Pakistan, which has said it wasn't aware the world's most-wanted man was living a short distance from its equivalent to West Point.

The Khyber Agency registered the murder case on Thursday, charging Afridi in connection with the death of a teenage boy he operated on eight years ago. The charge was based on a complaint filed five months ago by the teenager's mother, Naseeba Gul, a resident of Khyber Agency. Afridi is a general practitioner rather than a surgeon.

Afridi has been in jail since May 2012 on charges of “conspiring against the state.” He initially received a 33-year prison term for providing money and medical treatment to patients belonging to the banned militant organization Lashkar-i-Islam, or Army of Islam.

But in August, a judicial officer overturned his prison sentence and ordered a new trial on the grounds that the person who sentenced the doctor wasn't authorized to hear the case. The Khyber Agency bordering Afghanistan is a semi-autonomous political entity where tribal law applies rather than the Pakistani courts. The government's interests are represented by a political agent.

Samiullah Afridi, an attorney who represented the doctor in the Lashkar-i-Islam trial, said the local administration has abused its authority with this latest case. (Afridi is a common name.)

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Police end Sydney hostage siege after 16 hours
  2. Russia acts to stanch plummet of ruble’s value
  3. Hope for better days in Pakistan shattered in school attack
  4. Kurdish Iraqi forces battle ISIS to try to clear way to Syrian border
  5. Female bishop a first for Church of England
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.