ISLAMABAD—Pakistan’s highest court is expected to decide as soon as next week whether a British national whose conviction for killing Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was overturned earlier this year will be freed nearly two decades after the murder.
The fate of Omar Sheikh, who was sentenced to death in 2002 for orchestrating the abduction and killing of Mr. Pearl, has become an important litmus test of Pakistan’s relationship with the U.S.
Ahead of a hearing scheduled for Monday, the Pearl family said that releasing Mr. Sheikh would motivate militants around the world.
“This would be an invitation and encouragement to extreme elements all over the globe to feel free to initiate acts of terrorism, and play games with human life,” said Judea Pearl, the journalist’s father. “It would be a message of impunity.”
Mr. Sheikh, who has remained in prison while the government and Mr. Pearl’s family petition the court to reinstate his conviction, maintains he wasn’t involved in Mr. Pearl’s death and should have been released when his conviction was overturned in April.