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Bin Laden: ‘CIA doctor’ faces treason charges

A Pakistani doctor who allegedly helped the CIA track down Osama bin Laden is being accused of high treason by a Pakistani commission investigating the U.S. raid on the Al Qaeda leader’s compound in May.

According to Dawn, Shakil Afridi is accused of attempting to help the intelligence agency gather DNA samples of bin Laden and his family members by running a sham vaccination campaign in Abottabad, where bin Laden was killed.

Afridi was arrested soon after bin Laden died in the raid led by U.S. special forces on May 2, 2011.

After questioning Dr Afridi, the commission said that in view of the record and evidence it was “of the view that prima facie, a case of conspiracy against the State of Pakistan and high treason” should be launched against him.

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The Pakistani commission, led by a former Supreme Court judge, was set up to delve into how the U.S. entered Pakistan and completed its mission without Pakistan’s knowledge, according to AFP. It is also investigating how bin Laden was able to live concealed in Abottabad for several years.

Pakistan has described the raid as a violation of its sovereignty by the U.S., and the arrest likely will further complicate the strained relationship between the CIA and Pakistan’s intelligence agency. According to the BBC, Washington has argued for Afridi to be freed and sent to live in the U.S.

If convicted of high treason, Afridi could face the death penalty.

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