Bin Laden death: 'CIA doctor' accused of treason

image captionBin Laden was top of the US 'most wanted' list

A Pakistani commission investigating the US raid that killed Osama Bin Laden says a doctor accused of helping the CIA should be tried for high treason.

Dr Shakil Afridi is accused of running a CIA-sponsored fake vaccine programme in Abbottabad, where Bin Laden was killed, to try to get DNA samples.

He was arrested shortly after the 2 May US raid that killed the al-Qaeda chief.

The commission has been interviewing intelligence officials and on Wednesday spoke to Bin Laden family members.

Pakistan, which was deeply embarrassed by the raid, has described the covert US special forces operation as a violation of its sovereignty.

A government commission, headed by a former Supreme Court judge, has been charged with discovering how the US military was able to carry out the raid deep within Pakistan without being detected.

It is also investigating how Bin Laden was able to hide in Abbottabad, a garrison town, for several years.

DNA sought

After questioning Dr Afridi, the commission said that in view of the record and evidence it was "of the view that prima facie, a case of conspiracy against the State of Pakistan and high treason" should be launched against him.

Washington has been arguing that Dr Afridi should be freed and allowed to live in the US.

In the weeks after the Bin Laden raid, reports emerged that Dr Afridi, a senior Pakistani doctor, had been recruited by the CIA to organise the phoney vaccine drive.

After having tracked down a Bin Laden courier to a high-walled compound in Abbottabad, the CIA wanted to confirm Bin Laden's presence by obtaining a DNA sample from the residents.

It is not clear if any DNA from Bin Laden or any family members was ever obtained.

After the raid, Pakistani authorities took three of Bin Laden's widows and two of his daughters into custody.

The commission said on Thursday that statements had been taken from them and they were no longer required for its investigation.