Briton convicted of killing Daniel Pearl attempts suicide in Pakistan prison
Omar Saeed Sheikh, a former public school boy, has been held in a Pakistani prison since 2002 for the murder of the Wall Street Journal reporter
1:51PM GMT 16 Feb 2014
A British man convicted of killing Daniel Pearl, the American reporter, has attempted to commit suicide in a Pakistani prison, according to officials.
Omar Saeed Sheikh, who studied mathematics at the London School of Economics, was convicted in June 2002 of the murder. He was sentenced to death and subsequent appeals have stalled.
"Omar Sheikh, a British-Pakistani, who is serving life imprisonment in Hyderabad prison, tried to hang himself with the exhaust of the prison cell late Friday," Akram Naeem, a senior police official, told the AFP news agency.
Mr Pearl was a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, investigating militant groups, when he was kidnapped in the Pakistani city of Karachi in 2002.
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Four weeks later a video of his execution was delivered to American officials.
A report published three years ago by the Pearl Project at Georgetown University concluded that the wrong men were convicted for the murder.
It found that Sheikh had orchestrated the kidnap and originally considered a ransom but that he had been sidelined when Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the alleged 9/11 mastermind, became involved.
Mr Pearl's body was eventually found four months after he disappeared, cut into a dozen pieces with the head severed, the report said.
Mr Akram said security officers had found Sheikh as he attempted suicide and rescued him quickly.
"His condition is stable now and a case has been filed against him in the local police station," he added. In Pakistan prisoners who attempt to commit suicide can face additional punishment.
The conviction of a former public school boy for the murder of Mr Pearl shocked his friends.
But it was not the first time he had been arrested in connection in terrorism.
In 1994 he was detained by Indian police accused of kidnapping three Britons and an American. He was freed five years later in exchange for the hostages aboard an Indian Airlines plane which had been hijacked and flown to Kandahar, Afghanistan.