Pakistan’s deportation of 14 members of Osama bin Laden’s family to Saudi Arabia occurred just one week shy of the first anniversary of his death at the hands of U.S. commandos.
Among those being deported were bin Laden’s three widows and two daughters, said Aamir Khalil, a family attorney.
It was not clear late Thursday whether their plane had departed Islamabad.
Earlier this month, the five women were sentenced to 45 days of house arrest for living in Pakistan illegally. Their detention ended last week. Khalil said the time served began March 3, when the five were formally taken into custody.
“The family was kept safe and sound in a guest (safe) house,” according to a Pakistan Interior Ministry statement. “They have been deported to the country of their choice, Saudi Arabia, today.”
Two of the widows are Saudi, while one is Yemeni. The daughters are ages 17 and 21, Khalil said.
The widows have been identified by U.S. and Pakistani officials as Amal Ahmed Abdul Fateh, Khairiah Sabar and Siham Sabar.
Because all five defendants confessed to impersonation, illegal entry into Pakistan and staying illegally in Pakistan, there was no need for a trial, Khalil said recently. He represents four of the five relatives.
Bin Laden was killed by U.S. Navy SEALs at his Abbottabad compound May 2, 2011.
The al Qaeda leader spent years on the run in Pakistan after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, moving from one safe house to another and fathering four children with Fateh, at least one of whom was born in a government hospital, she told Pakistani investigators.
A deposition taken from Fateh gives the clearest picture yet of bin Laden’s life while international forces hunted him. He and his family moved from city to city with the help of Pakistanis who arranged “everything” for them, Fateh said, according to the deposition.
She told police she never applied for a visa during her stay in Pakistan.
Authorities in Saudi Arabia have repeatedly declined to comment on the matter.
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