ISLAMABAD, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- A lawyer representing the doctor who helped the CIA track down Osama bin Laden fled Pakistan after receiving death threats, his family said.
Samiullah Afridi fled to an undisclosed location Wednesday after being told by militants he would be murdered if he didn't stop defending Dr. Shakil Afridi, NBC News reported.
The two Afridis are not related.
Shakil Afridi was arrested for treason after he set up a vaccination program near the site of bin Laden's compound to help the CIA track down and kill al-Qaida leader bin Laden. Those charges were later dropped, but the doctor was convicted of aiding banned terrorist group Lashkar-e-Toiba and was charged with murder in the death of a boy who had appendicitis surgery.
Samiullah Afridi said it was his ethical duty to defend the doctor despite the threats.
"Samiullah Afridi was receiving serious threats for the past few weeks from militants who warned him to stop pleading Dr. Shakil Afridi's case or else they would kill him and his family members," a relative, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.
"As per our advice, he left the country Wednesday and would spend some time abroad. We cannot disclose the country he left for due to increased security threats to his life," the relative added.