Monday, February 14, 2011

Punjab’s request for trying Davis declined

Express Tribune

ISLAMABAD: The federal government has declined a Punjab government request seeking trial of ‘US diplomatic official’ Raymond Davis, who is also facing double murder charges, The Express Tribune has learnt.

The Punjab government had asked for instituting a case of espionage against Davis. Police prosecutors had recommended trying Davis for spying on the basis of “strong evidence” against him. However, the federal government’s consent was necessary because Davis claims to be a member of the US diplomatic mission, sources said.

In a letter to the federal government, the provincial authorities had recommended registration of an espionage case on the basis of a confessional statement of Davis that he had made during interrogation, the source added.

Police had recovered sensitive documents and photographs of Pakistan’s defence installations from Davis.

In another letter addressed to the ministry of foreign affairs, the Punjab government has sought the custody of four employees of the US consulate-general in Lahore.

They are accused of crushing to death a Pakistani citizen while they were driving in a marketplace of Lahore on Jan 27 when Davis shot dead two Pakistanis. The police had registered a criminal case against them.

According to Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, the accused are hiding in the US consulate general in Lahore. The consulate officials have asked the Punjab government to approach the ministry of foreign affairs for the custody of the four men and their vehicle.

Another source told The Express Tribune that the police have recovered a file from Davis which contained highly sensitive information.

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