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Criminal law: Retrial of Bin Laden's doctor ordered by Pakistan officials

Pakistan officials have called for the retrial of Bin Laden's doctor, overturning his original sentence, reports the BBC.

Doctor to the late Osama Bin Laden, Shakil Afridi was recruited by the CIA to provide information regarding the terrorist and his whereabouts in the build up to Bin Laden's assassination.

Convicted under local tribal law for treason, Mr Afridi was sentenced in May 2012 to 33 years in jail. He has been serving his time at Peshawar Central Jail and will be continued to be held there in the lead up to his retrial despite the original sentence being quashed.

The charge of treason was brought against Mr Afridi due to the government in Pakistan taking great offence to America's secret assassination of Osama Bin Laden. Pakistan viewed the act as 'a violation of its sovereignty', reports the BBC.

Mr Afridi's gathering and sharing of intelligence related to the late target with the CIA purportedly rendered him guilty of 'conspiring against the state of Pakistan'. Yet, the CIA was not referred to; instead, Mr Afridi was guilty of aligning with a militant group.

However, officials at Pakistan's Frontier Crimes Regulation have now deemed Mr Afridi's sentence to be faulty since it was given by an official who had the equivalent standing of a magistrate.

His retrial has therefore been ordered and will be heard by a professional at the level of a judge. Furthermore, his retrial will be heard in the state's normal jurisdiction as opposed to the tribal area in which his case was initially brought before court where, often, different procedures are followed.

Relieved with the demand of his retrial, US officials have maintained that Mr Afridi was not guilty of any offence. Reporting on the case, the BBC observed: "US officials spoke out against his arrest and sentencing and called for his release. But Pakistan maintained that any government would have taken similar measures."

Mr Afridi will now have the opportunity for a fair trial under appropriate state conditions. His retrial is expected to take place soon; however, as of yet, a date has not been set.