Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Pakistani Doctor who helped CIA locate Bin Laden sentenced to 33 years
Shakil Afridi worked with the CIA to run a fake vaccination program which in fact collected DNA that proved Bin Laden was in the Abbottabad compound where he was later attacked and killed. Afridi was convicted for conspiring against the state. I would have thought that the CIA would help Afridi flee Pakistan knowing that something such as this might happen.
Whereas in the U.S. the operation that killed Bin Laden was regarded positively and as a huge success by the vast majority, in Pakistan the action created outrage. There was no advance notice and obviously secret operations such as that involving the doctor were done without any notice to Pakistani intelligence. This is likely to lead to even more double dealing by Pakistani intelligence although no doubt there is cooperation with the U.S. at some levels still.
The U.S. has asked that Afridi be released saying that he served both U.S. and Pakistani agents. However a Pakistani intelligence official said:"He was working for a foreign spy agency. We are looking after our national interests,"
Afridi was detained after May 2. His trial start date was not revealed. Afridi was prosecuted under the Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR). The special laws for the tribal regions have been criticized for not providing suspects with due process. The laws are often applied to suspected terrorists. Accused have no right to legal representation, to present evidence, or even cross-examine witnesses.
A fine of $3,500 dollars was given on top of the prison term. Afridi can appeal to the FCR commissioner within two months.. No doubt there will be pressure from the U.S. to alter or overturn the sentence. For more see this article.