DID YOU KNOW? Doctor Who Helped Find Bin Laden Given Jail Term, Official Says
PESHAWAR, Pakistan — A Pakistani doctor who helped the Central Intelligence Agency locate Osama Bin Laden through a fake vaccination campaign in the city of Abbottabad was convicted on Wednesday of treason and sentenced to 33 years in prison, a senior official in Pakistan said.
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A tribal court here found the doctor, Shakil Afridi, guilty of acting against the state, said Mutahir Zeb Khan, the administrator for the Khyber tribal region. Along with the jail term, the court imposed a fine of $3,500. Dr. Afridi, who may appeal the verdict, was then sent to Central Prison in Peshawar.
He had been charged under a British-era regulation for frontier crimes that unlike the Pakistan criminal code does not carry the death penalty for treason. Under Pakistani penal law, he almost certainly would have received the death penalty, a Pakistani lawyer said.
The decision appeared likely to add to the strained relations between Pakistan and the United States at a time when the two countries remain at loggerheads over reopening supply lines through Pakistan to Afghanistan.
In January, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta confirmed that the United States had been working with Dr. Afridi to gain access to Bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad in the months before the raid. American officials had previously said that the doctor been running a phony hepatitis B vaccination program as a ruse to obtain DNA evidence from members of Bin Laden’s family, who were thought to be hiding in the city.
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