Pakistani doctor who aided Osama hunt likely to be released

Islamabad: Shakil Afridi, a Pakistani doctor serving 33 year prison sentence for helping the CIA track down and kill Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in 2011, is expected to be released in May after authorities remitted 10 years of his sentence, according to his lawyer.

Afridi’s lawyer Qamar Nadeem told BBC Urdu on Monday that his client, who has received several remissions in sentence, will complete his jail term this month.

Nadeem said that his client was sentenced to a total of 33 years jail term on four different charges. He was given 30 years on three counts and three years on one count.

However, after an approval of his appeal, 10 years of imprisonment had been remitted, the Express Tribune reported citing the BBC report.

The lawyer said that if Afridi’s total jail term and remissions were taken into consideration, then he was likely to be freed this month.

Afridi was shifted to Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi from Peshawar Central Jail under strict security measures on Friday.

According to earlier reports, Afridi was moved in a helicopter but no official statement was issued from the government. However, it was still not clear as to whether he will be kept in Adiala jail or shifted to another location.

He was kept under strict security measures and additional guards were posted at his barracks, the report said, adding that there was a chance that after his release Afridi might move to the US permanently.

Afridi ran a phoney vaccination campaign in Abbottabad to help the CIA track down Bin Laden in his compound and kill him in a controversial raid on May 2, 2011. He was arrested from Peshawar in late 2011.

In 2012, he was sentenced to 33 years in prison for having links with banned militant groups.

US President , two years ago, had said in an interview that during his campaign for presidential elections that he could have Afridi released in two minutes.

However, Pakistan condemned his statement and said the fate of Afridi would be decided by Islamabad and not Washington.