Pakistani police escort family members of slain al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Islamabad as they leave for the airport prior to their departure to Saudi Arabia, April 26, 2012.
Pakistan says it has deported the family of slain al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, his three widows and their children, to Saudi Arabia, Press TV reports.
A special chartered plane with 14 family members onboard took off from Islamabad's Benazir Bhutto International Airport early on Friday.
They were escorted to the airport amid tightened security. The Saudi ambassador to Pakistan was also at the airport on the occasion.
Bin Laden’s widows and two of his older daughters were sentenced by a Pakistani court to 45 days house arrest and a fine of USD 110 dollars each for illegal entry and residency in the country, and expulsion from the country.
The sentence was announced on April 2, but Islamabad said their detention ended last week as the time served began on March 3, when the five were formally taken into custody.
A statement issued by the Pakistani Interior Ministry said it has "passed orders for the deportation of 14 members of Bin laden family in pursuance of the court orders."
“They have been deported to the country of their choice, Saudi Arabia, today," it added.
The move comes less than a week ahead of the first anniversary of the US raid that allegedly killed the terrorist leader.
In May 2011, Washington announced Bin Laden had been killed by US forces on his compound in Pakistan’s Abbottabad town and buried at sea.
Washington refuses to release any pictures of Bin Laden's body. Another purported al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri is still at large. US and Pakistani officials doggedly refuse to release any information about Zawahiri's whereabouts.
Pakistani officials describe bin Laden's long presence in the hill-town of Abbottabad as a security lapse and reject suggestions that members of the military and intelligence service were complicit in hiding him there.
Emails leaked from the US-based global security think tank, Stratfor, obtained by hacker group Anonymous, suggest that bin Laden was not buried at sea but instead flown to the US for cremation.