Islamabad, May 10 (Reuters): The lawyer defending a Pakistani doctor jailed after helping the CIA find Osama bin Laden is quitting the case because of death threats and alleged US interference in the trial, the lawyer said today.
“I am getting threats on a regular basis. Not only is my life in danger, my family is also in danger. I have therefore decided to quit,” lawyer Samiullah Afridi said.
Afridi is representing Dr Shakil Afridi, who was jailed for 33 years after helping the CIA find the al Qaida chief. Osama was hiding in Pakistan until US Navy SEALS killed him in a 2011 raid. The raid — and Dr Afridi’s jail sentence — severely strained relations between the US and Pakistan.
Afridi’s sentence was later overturned. He is still in jail and undergoing a retrial, but his lawyer said the US government was unduly interfering. “The government of America is putting a lot of pressure on the Pakistani government for the release of Dr Shakil Afridi,” he said.