Homeland Security

Osama family members jailed for illegal stay in Pakistan

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, April 02, IRNA -- A court in Pakistan on Monday handed down a 45-day jail term to family members of Osama bin Laden for illegal stay in the country, court officials and lawyers said.

District Judge in Islamabad, Shah Rukh, also imposed a penalty of ten thousand rupees (approximately 111 US dollars) on each family member.

Those who were awarded sentence include three widows and two adult daughters of the slain al-Qaeda chief, who was killed by the American military in the Pakistani city of Abbotabad on May 2, last year.

Court officials and lawyers said the penalty has already been paid.

Amir Khalil, Defence lawyer of the Osama family says that their clients will spend only two weeks in custody as they have already spent several weeks in sub-jail and that has been counted in the punishment.

Three widows of Osama and their children have been in the custody of the Pakistani security agencies since his death.

The Yemeni brother-in-law of Osama had arrived in Pakistan last month to shift his two Yemeni widows and their children but the Pakistani government charged them with illegal stay in the country.

The Foreign Minister of Yemen last week had demanded release of Osama family members, saying that the family members are innocent and should not be punished for what Osama bin laden had done.

Official sources say that Pakistani authorities are likely to deport members of Osama family.

A commission investigating the U.S. raid and presence of the al- Qaeda chief in Pakistan has allowed the Osama family members to leave Pakistan as they were no more required for questioning. The commission members had interviewed widows of Osama as part of the investigation.

The Osama family members had been shifted from a 'safe house' of the security agencies to a house in Islamabad, which was declared as a sub-jail.

Police commandos had been deployed for the protection of the Osama family and the judge tried them in the house.

Pakistani media has reported that Saudi authorities have refused to accept the Saudi widow of Osama bin Laden.

The U.S. commandoes had handed over all the family members of Osama bin Laden after the 40-minute raid on Osama's compound in Abbottabad on May 2, 2011.

The security forces have razed to ground the compound of Osama bin Laden last month as it had been emerging a security concern in view of the daily visit of hundreds of people to the compound, which is located just two kilometers from Pakistan's major military academy.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 80058750

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