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Pakistani Court To Charge Bin Laden Widows Next Week

Policemen walk past as demolition work continues on February 26 on the building where Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. special forces in May 2011.
A Pakistani court is reportedly set to formally charge Osama bin Laden's three widows and two of his grown-up daughters next week.

The women have been in Pakistani custody since last May when U.S. commandos raided the house where they lived in the northwestern town of Abbottabad and shot and killed the Al-Qaeda leader.

Their lawyer, Muhammad Aamir, said that on April 2, the court will charge them with illegal entry and residence in Pakistan.

The women received copies of the charges on March 26.

Legal experts say the maximum punishment the women could receive is five years in jail.

Two of bin Laden's widows are reported to be from Saudi Arabia and another from Yemen.

Despite a $25 million reward for his capture, bin Laden is thought to have lived in Abbottabad with his wives and children for five years.

The discovery, combined with the U.S. operation to kill him on Pakistani territory, severely strained relations between Islamabad and Washington.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP