Pakistan Sentences Doctor Who Helped USA Find Bin Laden
By TOM WRIGHT and SIOBHAN GORMAN
LAHORE—A Pakistani doctor who helped the Central Intelligence Agency track down Osama bin Laden was sentenced to 33 years in prison, officials said, a decision that will further strain relations with the U.S.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the charges against Dr. Afridi are baseless and the U.S. will continue to press for his release.
Pakistani authorities arrested Dr. Afridi shortly after U.S. forces killed the al Qaeda leader in a raid on his compound a year ago. Leon Panetta, who was CIA director at the time, appealed to Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari for the release of Dr. Afridi on a visit to Pakistan after the raid. CIA officials also worked intensively with Pakistan's then-ambassador to the U.S. to gain the doctor's release.
An official with Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate military spy agency contested the U.S. view that Dr. Afridi was a patriot. "He wasn't serving Pakistan. He was serving Americans," the official said.
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