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Pakistani doctor who helped US appeals verdict

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 8:25 AM EDT, Sat June 2, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Shakeel Afridi is appealing his conviction for treason
  • He was sentenced to 33 years for ties to militants
  • Afridi was the doctor who helped the U.S. find bin Laden's compound

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- The Pakistani doctor who helped the United States locate Osama bin Laden's compound is appealing a treason conviction that landed him a 33-year jail sentence.

The sentence against Shakeel Afridi has further strained U.S.-Pakistani relations, but court documents say the doctor wasn't convicted for helping the CIA. He was punished for having ties to extremists, the documents show.

The court found Afridi guilty of providing financial and medical assistance to the now defunct militant group Lashkar-e-Islam.

Afridi's lawyer, Samiullah Afridi, told CNN Saturday that he filed an appeal against the verdict.

The Khyber Agency court said Shakeel Afridi had "close links" with Lashkar-e-Islam, which operated in the Khyber tribal areas, and its leader Mangal Bagh.

Afridi's brother, Jamil Afridi, said last week that the allegations are false and the family is worried. Shakeel Afridi has been in custody for more than a year.

Jamil Afridi said the court accused his brother of helping Mangal Bagh but that it was the militant leader who kidnapped the doctor for ransom money.

CNN's Nasir Habib contributed to this report.

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