Exclusive: Afridi's Lawyer: '50-50' Chance of Release
Attorneys representing Dr. Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani physician who assisted the U.S. in finding Osama bin Laden and was subsequently jailed, are optimistic after what they describe as a suddenly rapid appeals process, saying that his chances of release after the decision is handed down May 2 is "fifty-fifty."
A member of Dr. Afridi's legal team provided an update to Robert Lorsch, a philanthropist and CEO of MMRGlobal who has led a public awareness campaign for Dr. Afridi's release at www.freeafridi.com. The same attorney for Dr. Afridi subsequently confirmed his optimistic assessment with Breitbart News.
Dr. Afridi's legal team noted the determination of the new presiding officer to deliver a judgment just a week after taking the case as a sign of hope. In the Apr. 25 hearing they were able, for the first time, to present a legal defense of Dr. Afridi, who was jailed--ironically--on terrorism charges.
The government will be expected to present its own case on Thursday, and the decision will be handed down shortly thereafter--on the second anniversary of the bin Laden raid, and just days after Secretary of State John Kerry met in Europe with Pakistani officials and Dr. Afridi embarked on a hunger strike.
Prior to his trip, Kerry was confronted at the House Foreign Affairs Committee by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), who along with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has led the effort in Congress to tie Pakistani aid to Dr. Afridi's freedom. Kerry gave assurances that the Obama administration was "not ignoring" Dr. Afridi.
Speaking exclusively to Breitbart News about the latest developments in the case, Rep. Rohrabacher advised caution. "I would advise not to get your hopes up too high, because until the moment that Dr. Afridi is released and is outside the jurisdiction along with his family, we do not know whether or not some radical Islamic fanatic will pound on the table and force a reversal of this strategy, if this is indeed the strategy of Pakistan right now.
"This report is certainly better than a report that would indicate that they're hardening their stand, and they're going to make him an example. But these brutal men who run Pakistan would not in any way consider compromising on the decision they made to go get him," Rep. Rohrabacher said.
Regardless, Rep. Rohrabacher stressed the importance of Dr. Afridi's release as a national security priority.
"There are good people in the Muslim world, and if they think we are just going to abandon them, we don't have a chance. It's only through them that we have a chance to stand up and defeat Islamic terrorism."