The case against Joel Cox, an American FBI agent arrested earlier this month for trying to board a domestic flight with ammunition in his baggage, was dismissed by a court on Monday after police failed to present evidence.
A district judge in Malir, Hasan Ali Kalwar, quashed the case by noting that the police had invoked the wrong section of the law and ordered the cancellation of the First information report (FIR) filed against Cox.
According to details, the police report filed against the American law enforcement official was filed under ‘C-class’ – generally known as a mistake of facts – after police failed to present any evidence against the accused.
Giving his remarks, the judge noted that “No offence was alleged in the FIR against the accused, consequently a summary is therefore approved under C-class. FIR in question is directed to be cancelled under the provisions of Police Rules 1934.” The court also ordered police to return all personal belongings to the accused, including the bullets and magazine confiscated after his arrest.
During the hearing, defence counsel Zahid U. Jamil, revealed that Cox was a law enforcer visiting Pakistan to train officials of local law enforcement agencies. Jamil added that his client was authorised to carry weapons, which was endorsed by Sindh home department and the US embassy. The Associated Press reported that the judge dismissed the case after police produced a letter from the Ministry of Interior attesting that the agent was allowed to carry a weapon while in Pakistan.
In his arguments, Cox’s lawyer said that section 23 1 (a) of the Sindh Arms Act (SAA), 2013, was not violated by the accused since the possession of ammunition was legal and authorised.
The agent’s lawyer also submitted a copy of a letter from the US embassy showing that Cox was on a mission and was allowed to carry ammunition. “The US embassy letter provided to police and home department was ratified and there was no need to obtain a license for that,” the lawyer added during the hearing.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 20th, 2014.