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The Doctor who exposed Bin laden`s hideout sentenced to 33 years imprisonment

The Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA in the hunt for Osama bin Laden was sentenced to 33 years in prison for treason Wednesday, officials said, in a further blow to relations between Islamabad and Washington. 

The United States had been negotiating behind the scenes to win freedom for Dr. Shakil Afridi, who was detained by Pakistani intelligence agents after the May 2, 2011, U.S. special forces raid that found and killed the al Qaida founder in the northern town of Abbottabad. 

Word that Afridi had been tried in a tribal court, rather than in a regular Pakistani one, came just after Pakistan and the United States failed to come to an agreement at the NATO summit held in Chicago on reopening a land route through Pakistan for supplies to coalition soldiers in landlocked Afghanistan. 

The Afridi case illustrates the stark differences between the two countries on anti-terrorism issues. Afridi is regarded as a hero by American officials but as a traitor in Pakistan. 

McClatchy revealed in July last year that Afridi had set up a fake health program in Abbottabad, sending health workers door to door to vaccinate residents for Hepatitis B, in an effort to get DNA samples from the house where the CIA suspected that bin Laden lived. 

American officials were never sure that bin Laden was present in the home, to which they had traced a key al Qaida courier. The work by Afridi was carried out in the weeks leading up to the raid and was an important part of the CIA’s attempts to verify that bin Laden was in the Abbottabad house before mounting a risky operation in another country’s territory to kill him. It remains unclear whether Afridi’s efforts gained any useful information. 

After the bin Laden raid, Afridi remained in Pakistan, where he was arrested three weeks later by agents of the military’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency. U.S. officials believe he has been tortured in custody, a claim angrily denied by Pakistani military officials. 

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