LAHORE: Police have submitted a charge-sheet against Lahore double murder accused Raymond Davis as the US government announced that it will prove before a local court that Davis has diplomatic immunity.
Lytton Road police presented the 25-page charge-sheet in a district and sessions court on Tuesday, declaring that Davis had murdered two people near one of Lahore’s busiest areas Mozang and was not acting in self-defence. Investigation Officer of the case Inspector Munir Ahmed submitted the charge-sheet in the court of Judge Abdul Waheed Khan who will mark the case for trial. According to sources, the case is likely to be referred to Additional District and Sessions Judge Yousif Aujla.
Sources said that charge-sheet states that Davis’ self-defence plea was false as it was intentional murder. It reads that the guns recovered from the possession of the deceased were not loaded and they had also not pointed a gun at Davis. Fingerprints were found on the pistols’ triggers and on bodies of the deceased and tests show that the bullets remained in the magazines of their guns, not the chambers.
The charge-sheet also states that police had recovered a GPS tracker, mobile phones, wireless sets, a survival kit and photographs from Davis’ car. The accused, it says, is uncooperative with the police during investigation.
The charge-sheet also contains the statements of 47 witnesses, who have said that Davis did not shoot the men in self-defence. They also said that Davis had shot directly at the two boys and kept shooting even when one of them tried to flee. Police have requested the court to act against Davis under Section 302 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). Davis is due to appear in court on February 25.
Meanwhile, the BBC reported that US State Department Spokesperson PJ Crowley told reporters on Monday: “On Thursday, we will present a petition to the court to certify that he [Davis] has diplomatic immunity and that he should be released.”
He said Pakistan had an “international obligation” to release Davis because he “has diplomatic immunity”. “We respect our international obligations, and we expect other countries, including Pakistan, to do the same,” he added.
Taliban warn against releasing Davis
The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has warned the government that it would punish any move to release Davis.
“If (Pakistani) rulers hand him over to America then we will target these rulers. If Pakistani courts cannot punish Davis then they should hand him over to us,” said TTP Spokesperson Azam Tariq.
Davis release being negotiated?
There were plenty of rumours doing the rounds on television channels regarding important developments in the Raymond Davis case – including that he had been released.
Some channels said that the foreign ministry had sent a letter to the law ministry confirming the diplomatic status of Davis. However, the law ministry said that it had not received any such letter.
There were also reports about a high-level meeting being held late in the night on the issue.
However, none of these reports could be corroborated or confirmed by The Express Tribune at the time of going into print.
With additional input from AFP
Published in The Express Tribune, February 16th, 2011.