Pakistan jails bin Laden's family for illegal stay

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 02, 2012 5:48 AM
Pakistan jails bin Laden's family for illegal stay

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A Pakistani court charged former al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's three widows and two daughters with illegally staying in the country and sentenced them to 45 days in jail, their lawyers said.

In practice, that means 14 days in prison because they have already been in detention. Bin Laden's family members will eventually be deported to their home countries, the lawyers said.

Al Qaeda leader bin Laden was shot and killed in May last year by U.S. Special Forces who stormed his house in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad after a decade-long manhunt.

Analysts have said Pakistani officials may prefer a lengthy prison sentence for the women to prevent them from revealing details on how bin Laden was able to stay in Pakistan for years undetected, possibly assisted by the security establishment.

(Reporting by Qasim Nauman; Editing by Ed Lane)