A Pakistani court convicted Osama bin Laden's three widows and two of his daughters of illegally entering and living in the country and sentenced them to 45 days in prison yesterday, with credit for time served, their lawyer said.
The five women have been in detention since last May when United States commandos killed the al-Qaida chief at the walled compound in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad where he had been living with his family for six years.
Pakistani authorities formally arrested the women on March 3, so they will serve another two weeks in prison before being deported to their home countries along with the family's younger children, said their lawyer, Mohammed Amir Khalil. Two of the widows are Saudi and one is Yemeni, he said.
Khalil said Yemen has consented to the return, but he is still in discussions with Saudi officials. Saudi Arabia stripped bin Laden of his citizenship in 1994 because of his verbal attacks against the Saudi royal family.
Islamabad was outraged by the US raid that killed bin Laden because it was not told about it beforehand. Pakistani officials have said they had no idea the al-Qaida chief was in Abbottabad.
Details uncovered recently from the interrogation of bin Laden's 30-year-old Yemeni wife, Amal Ahmed Abdel-Fatah al-Sada, raised fresh questions about how he was able to remain undetected for so long in Pakistan after September 11, 2001, despite a massive manhunt.
After leaving Afghanistan, bin Laden lived in five safe houses over nine years while on the run in Pakistan and fathered four children, according to al-Sada's interrogation report.
Al-Sada's account says she flew to Pakistan in 2000 and traveled to Afghanistan where she married bin Laden before the September 11 attacks.
After that, the family "scattered" and she traveled to Karachi. She later met up with bin Laden in Peshawar and then moved to the Swat Valley, where they lived in two houses. They moved one more time before settling in Abbottabad in 2005.