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Detention of Daniel Pearl murder accused extended

The Pakistan Supreme Court was informed that the Sindh government has extended the detention of Omar Sheikh, the main accused in the 2002 abduction and murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl, for an additional three months.

Wednesday's development came after the apex court in its last hearing on September 28, barred the Sindh government from releasing Sheikh, Dawn news reported.

It had also admitted for the hearing of appeals moved by the slain journalist's parents, Sindh Prosecutor General Fiaz Shah and the provincial government, besides the one filed by Sheikh himself.

During Wednesday's hearing, Shah informed the court of the extension.

The court then postponed the proceedings for October 21 on the prosecutor general's request on the ground that they could not file further documents needed in the case as they received the written orders of the last court order on October 5.

Sheikh, who had already spent 18 years in prison on death row after being sentenced by an anti-terrorism court for Pearl's murder, was expected to be released after the high court verdict since his seven-year sentence was to be counted as time already served, The Express Tribune reported.

However, the Sindh government issued an order to detain Sheikh and four others, whose convictions had been overturned, till September 30.

Pearl, 38, was the South Asia bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal when he was abducted in Karachi in January 2002 while researching links between militants in Pakistan, said The Express Tribune report.

A graphic video showing Pearl's decapitation was delivered to the US consulate in Karachi nearly a month after he was kidnapped.

Sheikh was arrested in February 2002..