Pakistan's nuclear hero free, but censored

March 29, 2010 at 11:46 AM

LAHORE, Pakistan, March 29 (UPI) -- A high court in Lahore, Pakistan, said Monday that nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan is free, though he is prohibited from talking about nuclear work.

Khan, considered the father of the Pakistani nuclear weapons program, confessed in 2004 to supplying nuclear technology to Libya, Iran and North Korea. He later blamed Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf for the proliferation, recanting an earlier statement.

Pakistan tested its first nuclear weapon in 1998. Pardoned in 2004, Khan was kept under house arrest inside Pakistan.

A Lahore court Monday ruled in favor of a 2009 decision that freed Khan from house arrest, Pakistan's Dawn newspaper reports. He is barred, however, from talking to the media and is required to maintain a security detail during his travels.

His lawyers said the court Monday relaxed some of the restrictions for the nuclear scientist. He is required to notify authorities within 12 hours if he intends to leave his home town of Islamabad. Restrictions are limited to 90 minutes, however, for travel inside Islamabad.

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