Pakistan jails doctor who helped CIA find Osama Bin Laden

Posted May 23, 2012 by Layne Weiss
Nasir Khan, a Khyber Agency official, and Fazal Mehmood announced Wednesday that a Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA find Osama Bin Laden has been sentenced to 33 years in prison for treason.
CNN reports that Mehmood was a member of the tribal court that handed down the sentence.
The doctor, Shakil Afridi, was tried for "running a fake vaccination program to gather information" for the CIA about Bin Laden's whereabouts, BBC News reports.
According to CNN, Afridi was also fined $3,500 for spying for the United States.
Shahzad Akbar, an Islamabad-based lawyer believes Afridi's sentence was a "sham," CNN reports.
Akbar thinks it's questionable that the sentence was handed down by a tribal court in Khyber when the alleged offense took place in Abbottabad. Akbar told CNN, "This judgment won't last."
Iqbal Khan, a Khyber government official says Afridi has a right to appeal the verdict, the NY Daily News reports.
Senior US officials are already calling for the Afridi's release, the NY Daily News reports. They say his work served both Pakistani and US interests.
Both US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta have said that Afridi's arrest was a mistake, BBC News reports.
Back in January, Panetta said Pakistan was making a huge mistake for arresting someone who was trying to help his country go after terrorism. He did not think Afridi's actions were in any way treasonous against Pakistan.
CNN reports that Senators John McCain R-Arizona and Carl Levin D-Michigan echoed Panetta's sentiments that Afridi did not commit treason.They called the sentence "shocking and outrageous."
"Dr Afridi set an example that we wish others in Pakistan had followed long ago," McCain and Levin said. "He should be praised and rewarded for his actions, not punished and slandered."
Pakistan insists that it acted the way any other country would have if they learned one of its citizens was working as a spy for another country, BBC News reports.
Afridi is currently being held in a Peshawar jail, CNN reports.