Prosecutors to seek Davis murder trial Friday

By AFP
Published: February 10, 2011
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The incident has aroused huge controversy in Pakistan, where anti-American feelings run high. PHOTO: AFP

The incident has aroused huge controversy in Pakistan, where anti-American feelings run high. PHOTO: AFP

LAHORE: Prosecutors will go to court Friday to demand a murder trial for the US official involved in the Qartaba chowk shooting, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah has said.

In a case that has inflamed relations with Washington, an American, Raymond Davis, confessed to shooting dead two Pakistani men in self-defence in broad daylight on the streets of Lahore.

An eight-day police remand expires on Friday, when the judge is expected to decide whether Davis should be transferred from police custody to judicial remand in prison, a precursor to a trial.

Sanaullah said the prosecution would seek murder charges against Davis.

“Investigators will complete their job tonight and tomorrow we will frame murder charges against him,” the law minister told AFP.

“Another case of carrying unlicensed weapons would also be taken up against him.”

The case has become a political time-bomb, with the government under enormous pressure to see Davis go on trial.

Washington has demanded Davis’ immediate release, saying he acted in self-defence and has diplomatic immunity while local lawyers argue that diplomatic immunity can be waived for grave crimes.

US lawmakers on Tuesday also threatened to cut aid to Pakistan and Washington has warned that high-level dialogue is at risk unless Davis is freed.

The deaths have also sparked protests in Pakistan, where anti-American sentiment runs high and few are convinced that Davis was a normal diplomat

The United States has yet to confirm his name and precise job.

Police told AFP they recovered a Glock pistol, four loaded magazines, a GPS navigation system and small telescope from his car.

A spokeswoman for the US embassy said the detained American would have legal counsel at the court appearance on Friday.

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Reader Comments (23)

  • Sean
    Feb 10, 2011 - 10:32PM

    Ray Davis is under diplomatic cover. It does not matter what he has done! He has to be let go! Simple as that!. Recommend

  • Nasir
    Feb 10, 2011 - 10:57PM

    @Sean:
    Till now no evidence what so ever been furnished in this claim. It is court that has to decide neither US nor GoP.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Feb 10, 2011 - 11:13PM

    Davis done the act of terrorism by using an illegal weapon, and in Pakistan there is no immunity for terrorists. Simple as that!Recommend

  • Ali Haider
    Feb 10, 2011 - 11:23PM

    Simple, isn’t it? Ask the families of those killed by this guy.Recommend

  • Feb 10, 2011 - 11:30PM

    For the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, a parking ticket violation is more atrocious than a murder. As a junior senator from New York, Mrs. Clinton wanted to revoke the diplomatic immunity for scofflaw diplomats who were stationed at the United Nations in New York and had racked up $21.3 million in parking violations. As the Secretary of State, however, she is invoking diplomatic immunity for Mr. Raymond Davis, who is accused of murdering two young men in Lahore.

    Read the article for full understanding.Recommend

  • Aamir
    Feb 10, 2011 - 11:42PM

    @Sean

    Moran like you would believe anything. Davis has confessed himself (see the video clip being recorded by him during the preliminary investigation) that he works for US Consulate as a “Contractor”. Thus, he does not qualify for any sort of immunity. Recommend

  • Clean Pakistan
    Feb 10, 2011 - 11:50PM

    @Sean:

    He is under “framed” diplomatic cover, established after the murders had happened… He must be prosecuted, period!Recommend

  • Malik Nasir
    Feb 11, 2011 - 12:15AM

    He should/Must go, Immunity can easily be justified in such a case !Recommend

  • adeel
    Feb 11, 2011 - 12:42AM

    @ Sean.. you are a funny man.. i like that… and the most ignorant one too.. I can only laugh at your commentRecommend

  • adeel
    Feb 11, 2011 - 12:44AM

    please read it and lighten up your brain..
    http://www.thiscantbehappening.net/Recommend

  • rehan
    Feb 11, 2011 - 1:44AM

    @Sean. Arrogance at its BEST!Recommend

  • Faisal Awan
    Feb 11, 2011 - 2:06AM

    For Hillary Clinton, a parking ticket violation is more atrocious than a murder

    http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/10/balancing-parking-tickets-against-murders.html

    see full text of article on the above link, Recommend

  • nina
    Feb 11, 2011 - 2:36AM

    @Sean: Dig a hole and stick your ignorant head in it!
    Why doesn’t America release “innocent and framed terrorists” held on secret evidence?
    But Pak is expected to release a confirmed murderer just because America says so, Recommend

  • Sean
    Feb 11, 2011 - 4:19AM

    @CleanPakistan@Nasir@Aamir
    Again the deluded rif raf of Pakistan speaking out. Yes of course there is evidence, namely the letter from the embassy. He is under diplomatic cover. He can’t come into the country otherwise since obviously he is an intelligence officer attached to the embassy! It is routine have such people under diplomatic cover. Pakistan does the same thing too, as does every country. Even a spy that is not attached to the diplomatic core is given 24 hours to claim him for an exchange. I know English is not your strong suit (but then not much is), but the appropriate insult is moron not moran. Davis has confessed to what? It does not matter who or what or how many he kills. He has immunity from prosecution! He can work for the US as a janitor it still does not matter as long as he is under diplomatic cover! He will be let go sooner or later! Period! Recommend

  • Aamir+Ali
    Feb 11, 2011 - 4:22AM

    Davis is being charged with killing robbers who were pointing guns at him while at the same time his diplomatic immunity is being ignored. This is a bad case for Pakistanis to be beating their chests over “sovereignity”.Recommend

  • Sean
    Feb 11, 2011 - 4:43AM

    @adeel Dude what in that link surprises you? This is standard for an embassy attached intelligence officer. pakistna has them too (maybe not as sophisticated) all over here so what? Recommend

  • Sean
    Feb 11, 2011 - 5:26AM

    @Ali Haider Dude these guys are ISI operatives. They were his tail. Tons of agents from every country get killed in the line of duty, as do armies in war and police and in Pakistan people being blown to bits nearly daily (even in front of mosques) and nobody does a big song and dance about them! This guy is a through professional. Not just anyone from the special forces gets recruited to intelligence services. He wouldnt have killed them unless necessary. Recommend

  • ehabs
    Feb 11, 2011 - 6:22AM

    Davis has diplomatic immunity which we need to respect. Let him go already.Recommend

  • Told
    Feb 11, 2011 - 6:38AM

    As an American I could care less what you do with him. If it were up to me we would pull all our people and aid from the country. It’s up to the people of Pakistan to decide if they want to be terrorized or not. hopes are you will join the rest of the world in the twenty first century until then enjoy your daily suicide bombing.Recommend

  • Soman
    Feb 11, 2011 - 7:09AM

    Whatever happens between US and Pakistan, Indians will benefit.

    This moment Indians have been waiting for last 60 yrs is happening now without any effort from Indians!Recommend

  • adeel
    Feb 11, 2011 - 3:25PM

    @sean, this is really unfortunate that americans think that they are always right and there Govt cant do anything wrong. Found enough evidence from possessions of Mr davis. This is sad that our rulers are such a puppet and act like dogs to american officials that Mr.Davis will not be brought to justice. If we take our hands out of US war, the US army so called “sophisticated” will be hammered like in Vietnam or even worse. Recommend

  • Nidaa
    Feb 17, 2011 - 3:22AM

    Firstly, a lot of the above comments are quite disheartening; I had been hoping to read comments that consisted of objective views rather than personal insults…

    Secondly, I would normally agree with Sean on this- a person under diplomatic immunity should be transported back to their homeland for a trial. The reason I disagree in this particular case, however, is because Davis isn’t eligible for diplomatic immunity. The 1961 Vienna convention specifies that immunity only applies when a diplomat does something for the state.. i.e. for official actions and not personal.

    Since this isn’t valid in this instance- the shooting wasn’t done under state orders- I don’t think Davis should be given to the American authorities… I think Pakistan has the right to conduct the court case itself. Recommend

  • adeel
    Feb 17, 2011 - 2:42PM

    Even if hes a diplomat, is he allowed to shoot people?? No, Even Vienna convention doesn’t allow that… Just imagine, if a Paksitani diplomat would have killed 3 people in USA, what America would have done to him??? He would have been hanged. The whole world knows that hes a CIA agent and holds secrets, which US officials are afraid of leaking. Now even MR Obama saying they will trial him in USA. if we handover to them.. really funny…the biggest joke.Recommend

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