LAHORE: The government insisted on Tuesday that courts would decide the fate of an American detained on murder charges, even after it was revealed he was a CIA agent.
“The President has already stated that the matter is in the court and we will wait for the court decision in this case,” Farhatullah Babar, a spokesman for President Asif Ali Zardari told Reuters.
“Regardless of whether he now turns out to be a CIA employee, the matter will be decided by the court,” Babar added.
The Lahore Police have blamed the federal government for not being able to access the US consulate’s vehicle, and its driver, who killed the motorcyclist Ibadur Rehman. They have also accused the Punjab government of not cooperating with them during the investigation.
The police, on behalf of Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Muhammad Aslam Tareen, have sent written requests to the Foreign Office, asking for their assistance in gaining access to the vehicle belonging to the US consulate, and the identification of the accused driver, said a superintendent of police close to the investigating team in the Davis case.
The US Consulate officials, however, maintain their embassy has so far not received any request from the Foreign Office, he said, adding the investigators are left with no option but to wait.
According to a statement issued by the CCPO, SP Investigation Capt (retd) Liaqat Ali Malik and DSP Old Anarkali Safdar Raza Kazmi went to the US Consulate on Tuesday to arrest the driver and confiscate the vehicle.
After waiting at the consulate gate for 25 minutes, they were asked to leave by the regional security officer of the consulate Agha Tanveer Husain who claimed no official of the consulate could either meet them or provide them any information, since they have not received any instructions from the US Embassy in Islamabad.
The Punjab law department is also not cooperating with the police in the investigation of the case. The police requested the law department for a good translator to translate Davis’ investigation file, said a high-ranking police officer close to the investigation team.
Despite more than six written requests, the law department paid no heed and maintains it has not received any request in this regard, the official added.
When contacted, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan refused to comment on the issue and dropped the correspondent’s call.
In-jail trial for Davis
Additional district & sessions (AD&S) judge on Tuesday issued orders for a jail trial of American national Raymond Davis.
District public prosecutor Abdul Samad submitted an application in the session court, on behalf of home department, contending that due to security concerns, it was not possible to produce Raymond Davis in court and requested an in-jail trial for Davis. The extra security measures that were taken on earlier proceedings caused great inconvenience to other petitioners at the court, he added.
The court accepted the request and the hearing of trial will be held on February 25 in Kot Lakhpat jail.
The AD&S judge also disposed of a petition seeking addition of section 7 of Anti-Terrorism Act and provisions of espionage law in an FIR against Davis.
AD&S Judge Husnain Qadir said the petition was not maintainable as it lies under the jurisdiction of a trial court. With additional input from Reuters
Published in The Express Tribune, February 23rd, 2011.