Bin Laden family charged and sentenced in Pakistan

Security outside the villa believed to house Osama Bin Laden's family in Islamabad

Osama Bin Laden's three widows and two eldest daughters have been charged and sentenced for living in Pakistan illegally, their lawyer has confirmed.

They have received a jail term of 45 days in prison and been fined 10,000 rupees ($114; £71) each.

The women have already served a month of their sentence and are expected to be deported in two weeks.

They have been in Pakistani custody ever since US special forces killed the al-Qaeda chief last May.

The widows - two Saudi Arabians and a Yemeni - have been held at a house in the capital, Islamabad, which has been designated as a "sub-jail", with all of their children.

Formal legal proceedings against the women began last month, officials say.

'Makeshift court'

Their lawyer Atif Ali Khan told the BBC's Newshour programme that the woman were very happy with the verdicts and were looking forward to being reunited with their families soon.

He said the Yemeni government had "shown its acceptance" for taking back the Yemeni widow, Amal Abdulfattah, 30, and her children.

He said he was still in talks with the Saudi authorities about the deportation of the two Saudi women, but was "very confident" the matter would be settled in a few days.

Bin Ladens 'on the run'

Bin Laden compound
  • Abbottabad house for Bin Ladens built in 2005
  • Family reportedly on the run in various Pakistani cities for years beforehand
  • Bin Laden fathered four children in this period, his youngest wife says
  • Abbottabad mansion was known locally as "Waziristan Haveli" or "mansion"
  • He lived on the top floor and was never seen by locals

Monday's proceedings lasted three hours, and were presided over by a judge inside the makeshift court, which was set up in the villa where they are living, the AFP news agency reported.

Police commandos barricaded the main gate of the two-storey house and officers could also be seen on the first floor of the residence, AFP says.

Despite having a $25m (£15m) bounty on his head for his role in organising the 9/11 attacks on the US, Osama Bin Laden lived in a secure compound in the north-western city of Abbottabad with his wives and children for nearly five years.

Over the last few weeks, details about their life on the run have been trickling out in media reports.

On the run

Amal Abdulfattah was Bin Laden's youngest wife and she claims that he fathered four children with her while they were on the run.

She said two of her children were delivered in state hospitals, but she stayed there just "two or three hours".

Her account, which comes from a report compiled by Pakistan's internal inquiry into the Bin Laden incident, says she flew to Pakistan in 2000 and travelled to Afghanistan where she married Bin Laden before the 11 September 2001 attacks.

The family was subsequently "scattered", she told investigators, and she travelled to Karachi in Pakistan, later meeting up with Bin Laden in Peshawar and then moving to the Swat Valley, where they lived in two houses. They moved once again before settling in Abbottabad in 2005.

Bin Laden's two older wives have been named in local media as Khairiah Sabar and Siham Sharif, both from Saudi Arabia.

It is unclear how many children the women have between them, but most estimates say there are about 10 children. Only those above 12 were charged, AFP reports.

During the hunt for Bin Laden, most US and Pakistani officials believed he was hiding somewhere along the remote Afghanistan-Pakistan border, possibly in a cave.

He was finally killed on 2 May 2011 after US Navy Seal commandos stormed his substantial compound in Abbottabad. Several other men in the house were also killed, and Bin Laden's youngest wife was injured.

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