Legal counsel for the Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA track down Osama bin Laden has shifted to U.A.E. until further notice.
The primary lawyer for the Pakistani doctor who was arrested after helping the CIA track down Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden has fled to the United Arab Emirates over death threats.
“Advocate Samiullah Afridi was under severe threat from militants, and had been told to stop pursuing the case,” said Qamar Din Afridi, another lawyer involved in the case. Samiullah had been representing Dr. Afridi since he was arrested in 2011 following the May 2 killing of bin Laden in a U.S. military operation. “Yesterday he left for the U.A.E. I don’t know about his plans—whether he will go somewhere else or prefer to stay over there,” Qamar added.
Dr. Afridi was sent to jail for 33 years over allegations that he gave money and provided medical treatment to militants in the Khyber Agency. The doctor’s family has denied these allegations and the conviction was overturned by the commissioner of Peshawar. His retrial concluded last week and a judgment is due on Dec. 18.
“Samiullah fled because he was under threat,” Jamil Afridi, Dr. Afridi’s brother, confirmed to Newsweek. “We are also under threat from militants and some other people,” he said, without identifying the parties involved. “Samiullah was at the forefront, so he was the main target.”
Afridi said that Samiullah had been the primary lawyer, but he had assembled a team before fleeing to the U.A.E. “We will discuss the issue and come up with a new strategy.”