A Pakistani doctor who helped lead the CIA to Osama bin Laden was sentenced to 33 years in prison not for his ties to the American intelligence agency, as was widely reported, but for his involvement with a militant Islamist commander, the Associated Press reported.
Shakil Afridi, of the Peshawar region, was not sought for his CIA connection because it was out of Pakistan’s jurisdiction, the AP reported. Rather, he was convicted because militant leaders reportedly planned attacks in his office and received medical treatment from Afridi. His family has said that he will appeal the verdict.
News of Afridi’s sentence initially outraged U.S. officials, who called for his release. Some even suggested withholding U.S. aid to Pakistan.
Afridi ran a vaccination program that collected blood samples of bin Laden’s family, which helped lead Osama bin Laden's killing last May by American Special Forces.