The Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA locate Osama Bin Laden was handed a 33-year prison sentence last week for conspiring with Islamic militants, not for assisting American agents, according to a court document.
The verdict counters the U.S. government's claim that the doctor Shakeel Afridi was jailed for assisting American intelligence agents, and will hamper its efforts to seek his release. Pakistan will now be able to argue that Afridi's conviction is an internal matter that doesn't involve the U.S.
The court document charges Afridi with providing both financial and medical assistance to the now-defunct militant Islamic organization Lashkar-e-Islam -- literally Army of Islam -- during his residency as a government physician at Tehsil Headquarter Hospital in the Khyber Agency tribal area of western Pakistan.
Being a Govt. servant, his involvement in subversive activities and his role in facilitating the waging of war and attacks upon security forces makes him liable to be proceeded against, read the document.
The U.S. initially responded to Afridi's conviction with severe criticism, and last week a Senate committee voted to cut military aid to Pakistan by $33 million -- one million for every year of Afridi's sentence.
The State Department has not yet responded to the information revealed in the full court document.
Ryan Villarreal reports on foreign affairs with a focus on Latin America. He also covers human rights and environmental issues worldwide....