Pakistani authorities have charged Osama bin Laden’s three widows with illegally entering and living in the country.
Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik announced Thursday the charges were filed against the women earlier this week. It is not clear when a trial will start.
Legal experts say if the women are found guilty, they could be sent to jail for up to five years.
Pakistan took the al-Qaida leader’s wives — two Saudis and a Yemeni — along with their 10 children into custody after U.S. special commandos killed bin Laden in a covert raid on his house in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad on May 2, 2011.
Government officials previously had said they would repatriate the women to their countries of origin after a government commission probing the bin Laden raid had completed its questioning.
The United States conducted the raid deep into Pakistani territory, about an hour outside the capital Islamabad, without Pakistan’s knowledge or cooperation.
While the operation was hailed as a success in the United States, it plunged the two countries’ relationship to one of its lowest points, with Islamabad complaining that the action was a serious violation of its sovereignty.