Osama's 3 wives jailed for 45 days

Apr 03, 2012, 07:25 IST | Agencies

Family including two daughters will serve the sentence for illegally remaining in the country following al-Qaeda leader's death before being deported

Five members of Osama Bin Laden’s family have been jailed for staying in Pakistan illegally — but they will be released in just 45 days.

Three of the terror leader’s widows and two daughters have been held behind bars since the al-Qaeda terror leader was killed in his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan last May. The group were all living with Bin Laden when his base was raided by US Navy Seals.

Justice, at last? Zakarya Ahmad Abd al-Fattah (extreme right), Yemeni brother of Osama’s youngest wife, Amal Abdulfattah, arrives at the house where she is being kept. Pic/AFP

Pakistani authorities formally arrested the women on March 3 and they will serve another two weeks behind bars before they are deported to their homelands along with the family’s younger children, said their lawyer, Mohammed Amir Khalil.

Two of the widows are Saudi and one is Yemeni, he said. Khalil said Yemen has consented to the woman being returned, but he is still in discussion with Saudi officials.

Saudi Arabia stripped Bin Laden of his citizenship in 1994 because of his verbal attacks against the Saudi royal family.
As well as being jailed, the five women were also ordered to pay a fine of about £70 (Rs 5,700) each. The lawyer does not plan to appeal the court’s ruling.

Yemen-born Amal Al-Sadeh, the youngest widow, and her four children were among 16 people detained by Pakistani authorities after the raid, which also included two other wives. Officials have said they had no idea the al-Qaeda chief was in Abbottabad, something many in Washington found hard to believe.

The US has not found any evidence indicating senior Pakistani officials knew of Bin Laden’s whereabouts.

But details uncovered recently from the interrogation of his 30-year-old Yemeni wife, Amal Ahmed Abdel-Fatah al-Sada, raised fresh questions about how Bin Laden was able to remain undetected for so long in Pakistan after the September 11 attacks, despite being the subject of a massive international manhunt.

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