Pakistan to charge bin Laden widows

Three wives and two daughters of former al-Qaeda chief face up to five years in prison for illegal entry and residency.

    Osama Bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda network, was found and killed in Pakistan on May 2, 2011 [EPA]

    A Pakistani court will charge Osama bin Laden's widows and two of his grown-up daughters for illegal entry and residency in the country, their lawyer has said.

    Muhammad Aamir told the AFP news agency that "the court will frame charges against five family members on April 2".

    The court on Monday issued copies of the charges to the women. If convicted, they are liable to be deported or imprisoned, Aamir said.

    Under Pakistani law, they could serve a maximum sentence of five years.

    Bin Laden's two Saudi and one Yemeni widows, together with their children, have been living under the protection of the authorities in Pakistan since the al-Qaeda chief was found and killed by US Navy SEALs on May 2, 2011.

    Bin Laden, who was the leader of al-Qaeda, the group alleged to be behind the September 11 attacks, went into hiding shortly after the US attacks.

    He was killed in a secret raid by US special forces when he was found to be hiding out in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad.

    Bin Laden's wives, and an undisclosed number of children, were among the 16 people detained by Pakistani authorities after the raid.

    A Pakistani commission has interviewed the family members for clues about how the al-Qaeda chief managed to stay in the country undetected.

    The country has always said it would look after bin Laden's family until they could be repatriated to their homelands.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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