A court in Pakistan on Wednesday warned a government prosecutor about seeking to adjourn the appeal of Shakeel Afridi.
Officials and a lawyer said Afridi was the doctor who helped the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) trace al-Qaeda’s founding chief Osama bin Laden.
Afridi lawyer Qamar Nadeem said Peshawar High Court adjourned the hearing into Afridi appeal until Oct. 22, with a warning that no further delay would be tolerated.
Afridi is accused of running a fake polio vaccination drive in the northern Pakistani city of Abbottabad to confirm the presence of bin Laden in a compound.
It was after the confirmation by Afridi that U.S. Navy SEALs stormed the hideout in a night raid to kill bin Laden in 2011, ending one of the longest running manhunts in history.
Afridi is considered a hero by the U.S. but a traitor in Pakistan, where he was handed 23-year jail term on charges of funding a militant group affiliated with the Taliban in 2012.
Pakistan officials accused the medic of treason for leading the CIA to bin Laden, but he was never formally charged.
The court issued the warning after the prosecutor said he was not prepared to argue in the appeal by Afridi, who has sought to quash the conviction by a tribal judge.
“We hope the appeal will start moving from the next hearing,’’ said lawyer Nadeem, after proceedings took place in open court for the first time.
Court official Roohul Amin Khan said the judges might issue a one-sided decision if the prosecutor keeps seeking adjournments in future. (dpa/NAN)