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US official to be charged with murder: Pakistani police

Friday February 11, 2011 05:15:16 PM, IANS

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Islamabad: The Pakistani police Friday said they will lodge a murder charge against the US official Raymond Davis, whose judicial custody was extended by 14 days by a court in Lahore.

Davis, an official with US diplomatic mission in Pakistan, was arrested Jan 27 after he shot dead two Pakistani men in Lahore. Davis claimed he opened fire in self-defence as the two men were trying to rob him.

"Our investigations have proved that it is a clearcut case of double murder," the Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) of Lahore, Aslam Tareen, said at a press conference.

He said the police will file the chargesheet of murder against the American.

On Davis's claim of acting in self-defence, the officer said that the police has "not found any such evidence nor have the eye-witnesses confirmed that".

"He ensured that both boys were killed despite the fact that they were running away after he fired the first shot," the CCPO added.

The city police chief admitted that the two boys were also carrying pistols.

"However, they received bullet wounds on the back which meant that Raymond kept shooting them without any threat. Our investigations have confirmed that he did not want them to be arrested," Tareen said.

The police officer also said that Raymond is "not cooperating with the investigators and is showing a violent attitude".

Tareen said: "Sensitive documents and equipment had been recovered from Raymond".

About diplomatic immunity for the American official, he said that a case in this regard is already in Lahore High Court and it is for the court to decide.

Earlier, Raymond was sent on 14-day judicial remand to Kot Lakhpat jail in Lahore after he was presented in court following the expiry of his earlier 14-day remand.

A spokesman of the Punjab provincial government said: "There will be no special privileges for Raymond in the jail and he'll be treated as any other ordinary inmate."

The arrest of Davis has triggered a major row between the US and Pakistan.

Davis opened fire when the two men, who some reports now say were Pakistani intelligence operatives tailing him, came close to his car. The American has said he fired in self-defence because he thought they were robbers.

The incident led to a third death when a speeding US consulate vehicle coming to the rescue of Davis overran a motorcyclist.

US officials have threatened to cut the $1.5 billion annual aid to Pakistan if Davis is not released, and Tuesday put bilateral contacts on hold.






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