Image: A view of the a house of where Pakistani doctor Shakil Afridi used to stay, in Abbottabad, Pakistan
Str  /  EPA
A view of the a house of where Pakistani doctor Shakil Afridi used to stay, in Abbottabad, Pakistan, taken Oct. 2011.
msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 10/7/2011 4:33:41 AM ET 2011-10-07T08:33:41

A Pakistani doctor accused of running a vaccination program for the CIA to help track down Osama bin Laden should be put on trial for high treason, a government commission said Thursday, a move likely to anger U.S. officials pushing for his release.

Dr. Shakil Afridi has been in the custody of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency since soon after the May 2 American raid that killed bin Laden.

The agency was humiliated and outraged by the covert American operation and is aggressively investigating the circumstances surrounding it.

Afridi's fate is a complicating issue in relations between the CIA and the ISI that were strained to the breaking point by the bin Laden raid.

Interactive: A timeline of Osama bin Laden's life (on this page)

U.S. and Pakistani officials have said Afridi ran a vaccination program in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad where the al-Qaida leader hid in an effort to obtain a DNA sample from him.

Afridi was detained in the days after the U.S. operation. He has no lawyer.

'A case of conspiracy'
A Pakistani government commission investigating the raid on bin Laden said in a statement that it was of the view that "a case of conspiracy against the state of Pakistan and high treason" should be registered against Afridi on the basis of the evidence it had gathered. Such a charge carries the death penalty.

"A case under relevant law should be registered," the commission added, according to The Express Tribune newspaper.

The paper said the chairman of the commission, Javed Iqbal, also ordered that bin Laden's compound should be handed over to local officials "for disposal in accordance with relevant law."

The commission, which interviewed Afridi and the head of the ISI, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha this week, has been tasked with investigating how bin Laden managed to hide in the army town of Abbottabad for up to five years, and the circumstances surrounding the U.S. operation.

Slideshow: After the raid: Inside bin Laden's compound (on this page)

It is headed by a Supreme Court justice, and its members include a retired general, a former diplomat, a former police chief and a civil servant.

It is unclear why the body would make this recommendation public, and whether it will lead to charges being filed against Afridi.

Story: Doctor: I treated children from bin Laden house

The commission was formed amid intense international pressure for answers over how bin Laden was able to live undetected for so long in Abbottabad, an army town close to the capital.

Skeptics will say it is unlikely to achieve that goal, given the power of the ISI and the army, and may well end up a whitewash.

The vaccination ruse has been widely criticized by aid agencies, which have said it could harm legitimate immunization programs in Pakistan.

The vaccination team was reported to have gained access bin Laden's house in Abbottabad, but that it didn't confirm bin Laden's presence there.

The Associated Press and msnbc.com staff contributed to this report.

Photos: The compound

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  1. Pakistani boys while demolition takes place on the compound where Osama bin Laden was slain in 2011 in the northwestern town of Abbottabad on Feb. 26, 2012.

    More photos from Abbottabad one year after Osama bin Laden (Aamir Qureshi / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. An aerial view shows the residential area of Abbottabad, Pakistan, where Osama bin Laden was found and killed by U.S. commandos. (Asif Hassan / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. A general view of the town of Abbottabad, May 6. Bin Laden was living in a large house close to a military academy in this garrison town, a two-and-a-half hour-drive from the capital, Islamabad. (Khaqan Khawer / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Supporters of Pakistani religious party Jamaat-e-Islami rally to condemn the killing of bin Laden, in Abbottabad on May 6. (Aqeel Ahmed / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. A Pakistani woman photographs her daughter on May , at a gate of the compound where bin Laden was caught and killed. (Aqeel Ahmed / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. School girls pass by armed Pakistani policemen guarding the sealed entrance to the compound in Abbottabad, May 5, in which bin Laden had been living. (MD Nadeem / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Part of a damaged helicopter rests in the compound after U.S. Navy SEAL commandos killed bin Laden, May 2, in a photo made available on May 4. (Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Boys herd sheep past the compound where U.S. Navy SEAL commandos killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad May 5. (Akhtar Soomro / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Pakistani security officials arrive at the Osama bin Laden compound in Abbottabad on Wednesday, May 4. (Aamir Qureshi / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Local residents gather outside a burned section of bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad. (Aamir Qureshi / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. A Pakistani police officer gestures at a checkpoint along a road leading to a house where bin Laden was captured and killed in Abbottabad. Area residents were still confused and suspicious about bin Laden's death, which took place before dawn on Monday. (Anjum Naveed / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Pakistani children look out from a high vantage point at bin Laden's compound on Tuesday, May 3. (Aqeel Ahmed / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Pakistan army troops remove canvas screens from outside the compound's house. (Anjum Naveed / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Neighbors and news media gather around the compound, right, after authorities ease security around the property. (Aqeel Ahmed / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. A satellite image, taken June 15, 2005, shows the Abbottabad compound, center, where bin Laden was killed in on Monday. (DigitalGlobe via Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. A Pakistani soldier secures the compound. (T. Mughal / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. The compound is seen in flames after it was attacked early May 2 in this still image taken from cellphone video footage. (Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Part of a damaged U.S. MH-60 helicopter lies the compound. The helicopter was destroyed by U.S. forces after a mechanical failure left it unable to take off. (Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. A still image from video obtained by ABC News shows blood stains in the interior of the house where bin Laden was killed. (ABC News via Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Aerial views released by the Department of Defense show the area in Abbottabad in 2004, left, before the house was built, and in 2011, right. (Department of Defense via Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. A graphic released by the Department of Defense shows the compound where bin Laden was killed. (Department of Defense via Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Pakistani soldiers and police officers patrol near the house, background, where bin Laden had lived. (Anjum Naveed / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. The hideout of bin Laden is seen the day after his death. (Farooq Naeem / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Students look toward the compound from a nearby religious school in Abbottabad. (Faisal Mahmood / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. Pakistani security officials survey the walls of the compound where bin Laden was killed. The outer walls were between 10 and 18 feet high. (MD Nadeem / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. Pakistani soldiers stand guard near the compound May 2. (Anjum Naveed / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Boys collect pieces of metal from a wheat field outside bin Laden's house, seen in the background, on May 3. People showed off small parts of what appeared to be a U.S. helicopter that the U.S. says malfunctioned and was blown up by the American team as it retreated. (Anjum Naveed / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. Pakistani security officials stand guard at the main entrance to the compound on May 3. (MD Nadeem / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. An image from video seized from the walled compound of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, and released by the U.S. Department of Defense, shows Osama bin Laden watching TV. He is said to have spent his last weeks in a house divided, amid wives riven by suspicions. On the top floor, sharing his bedroom, was his youngest wife and favorite. The trouble came when his eldest wife showed up and moved into the bedroom on the floor below. (Department of Defense via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. Image:
    Aamir Qureshi / AFP - Getty Images
    Above: Slideshow (29) After the raid: Inside bin Laden's compound - The compound
  2. Image:
    Timothy A. Clary / AFP - Getty Images
    Slideshow (81) After the raid: Inside bin Laden's compound - World reaction
  3. Image: Protest against US drone strikes in Pakistan
    Shahzaib Akber / EPA
    Slideshow (154) Pakistan: A nation in turmoil - 2013
  4. Image: PAKISTAN-NEW YEAR
    Arif Ali / AFP - Getty Images
    Slideshow (160) Pakistan: A nation in turmoil - 2012
  5. Image: A man, injured from the site of a bomb explosion, is brought to a hospital for treatment in Quetta
    Naseer Ahmed / Reuters
    Slideshow (193) Pakistan: A nation in turmoil - 2011
  6. Image: Supporters of various religious parties take a part in a rally in support of the Pakistani blasphemy law in Karachi
    Athar Hussain / Reuters
    Slideshow (123) Pakistan: A nation in turmoil - 2010
  1. Image: Activists of Pakistani Islamist organisa
    Tariq Mahmood / AFP - Getty Images
    Slideshow (56) Pakistan: A nation in turmoil - 2009

Timeline: A timeline of Osama bin Laden's life

Considered enemy No. 1 by the U.S., the Saudi millionaire is the perpetrator behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Click on key dates to learn more about the founder of al-Qaida, an international terror network.

  1. BIN LADEN
    Rahimullah Yousafzai / AP
    Above: Timeline A timeline of Osama bin Laden's life
  2. Timeline Al-Qaida timeline
  3. Map Conflict in Pakistan

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