Despite a weak case and clear signs of a setup by local FBI officers, Adnan was kept in a federal prison for five years. Tremendous pressure was put on him to accept the charges and spend a few years in jail. He knew he’d be deported if he accepted charges and his record would be tarnished for life for something he did not do. Unfortunately, Pakistani diplomats in the US also played along with FBI and pressured Adnan to accept charges, which he refused. Finally, the FBI managed to secure a favourable court verdict, and on 22 Oct. 2010, a judge in Houston sentenced Adnan to 15 years in prison.
The young man who used to spend his spare time feeding the needy at Houston intersections, and who was celebrated by local newspapers and television networks for upholding the Christmas spirit has thus been abandoned by his own country. But fair-minded and good Americans continue to support him. Renowned TV personality and political commentator Amy Goodman and DemocracyNow.org have defended Adnan and highlighted his case. Adnan’s story and how he was clearly framed should serve as a warning to other Pakistani students who are either already in the US or planning to go there.