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Co-Defendant in Murder of US Journalist Pearl Acquitted in Pakistan

FILE - Musician Meesha Shafi performs at a tribute concert to slain journalist Daniel Pearl in Islamabad, Pakistan, Oct. 9, 2010.

A Pakistani terrorism court has acquitted a co-defendant in the 2002 beheading of U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl.

The court freed Qari Hashim, citing a lack of evidence.

Police arrested Hashim in 2005 and jailed him in the southern city of Hyderabad.

Pearl was the South Asia bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal when he was kidnapped in Pakistan in 2002.

A videotape of his murder was sent to Pakistani authorities, who later found his headless body in a shallow grave.

The ringleader of the captors, Omar Sheikh, was sentenced to death. Three other suspects were given terms of life in prison. All have appealed.