Pakistan nuclear scientist to be pardoned

Feb. 5, 2004 at 8:15 AM
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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- The Pakistani scientist who admittedly leaked nuclear technology to Libya and North Korea will likely receive a governmental pardon, the BBC said Thursday.

Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan confessed on national television Wednesday to leaking nuclear weapons secrets after meeting with President Pervez Musharraf.

The recommendation for a presidential pardon was made by the cabinet, although Musharraf was to make the final decision on a pardon later Thursday.

Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the U.N. atomic agency, described the revelations about Khan as just the "tip of the iceberg" of illegal trafficking.

Khan told the nation he had acted without authorization and begged forgiveness. He cleared Musharraf and other government and military officials of any involvement in nuclear proliferation.

The country began an inquiry into possible illegal transfers late last year after the United Nations passed on information it had gathered about Iran and Libya's nuclear programs.

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