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Conviction Of Doctor That Assisted with Bin Laden Raid Was Not because of CIA Involvement

By: AP
By: AP

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) -- A Pakistan doctor who assisted the CIA in tracking down Osama bin Laden was sentenced to 33 years in prison for conspiring with an Islamist militant commander, not his involvement the American spy agency.

A copy of the verdict obtained by The Associated Press Wednesday adds to questions about Pakistan's treatment of Shakil Afridi.

Afridi was sentenced last week in a tribal court. Few details were released about the verdict, but officials did nothing to challenge the widely held assumption he was punished for his role in helping the CIA.

The five-page document, first reported by Pakistan's Dawn newspaper, says Afridi was guilty of conspiring with militant commander Mangal Bagh.

Afridi's family says he is innocent and will appeal.

Prior to the document’s release, a Senate panel expressed its outrage over Afridi’s conviction by slashing aid by $33 million -- $1 million for every year of the doctor's 33-year sentence.

Afridi ran a vaccination program for the CIA to collect DNA and verify bin Laden's presence at the compound in the town of Abbottabad where U.S. commandos killed the al-Qaida leader in May 2011.

The United States has called for Afridi to be released.


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