November 13, 2007 12:52:52 am
A Pakistani businessman suspected of playing a role in the 2002 brutal killing of American journalist Daniel Pearl died earlier this year, shortly after being interrogated by the US and Pakistani intelligence, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.
Pearl, a Karachi-based correspondent, was kidnapped on January 23, 2002, and killed execution-style shortly after. The newspaper said Karachi businessman Saud Memon became a key suspect in the case because he owned a nursery where Pearl had been held captive.
Referring to an unnamed senior US law enforcement official, the report said Memon was interrogated by both the US and Pakistani intelligence services. The interrogation produced information that Memon was helping al-Qaeda develop anthrax strains, the newspaper said.
He was in rooms “where important things were being discussed”, the paper quotes the US official as saying. “He knew senior al-Qaeda people,” it stated.
But Memon’s family members and human rights groups said that in April, the he was left in front of his Karachi home badly injured and emaciated, weighing just 36 kg, according to the report.
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