Bin Laden widows' deportation 'few more days' away

AFP, Friday 20 Apr 2012

The lawyer of Osama bin Laden's family says their deportation from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia will take a few more days

Pakistani police commandos stand guard outside a house, where the family of Osama Bin Lade nare believed to be held in Islamabad, Pakistan on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. (Photo: AP)

The deportation of Osama bin Laden's family from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia will take at least a few more days and is being discussed between the two countries, their lawyer said Friday.

The 9/11 mastermind's three widows, their eight children and a grandchild were held by Pakistan authorities after bin Laden was killed in a US special forces operation in the town of Abbottabad, north of Islamabad, last May.

The 12 were originally supposed to be deported this week but it was delayed because legal formalities were not complete.

"It will take some more days to complete the deportation process," Atif Ali Khan, the lawyer for bin Laden's widows, told AFP. "We are still waiting for news from the authorities.

"I don't want to talk about weeks but we hope that it will be over in a few days."

Deputy interior minister Imtiaz Safdar Warraich told AFP on Tuesday that "the required documents are being prepared and it is being done swiftly. It is not just an issue of deportation, but also there is an issue of acceptance".

Earlier this month, a court sentenced the three women and two of bin Laden's older daughters to 45 days' detention on charges of illegal entry and residency in Pakistan, and ordered their deportation as soon as possible.

They completed the sentence on Tuesday, counting time already served since they were formally arrested on March 3.

After fleeing Afghanistan in the wake of the attacks on Washington and New York, bin Laden moved his family around Pakistan before settling in a three-storey house inside a compound in the garrison town of Abbottabad in 2005.

His discovery on Pakistani soil dealt a massive blow to US-Pakistan relations and led to accusations of Pakistani complicity or incompetence.

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