Raymond Davis saga: US warns of moving International Court

Published: February 24, 2011
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Western newspapers reveal they knew that Davis was employed by the American spy agency, the CIA.

Western newspapers reveal they knew that Davis was employed by the American spy agency, the CIA.

ISLAMABAD: US officials have indirectly warned that their country could approach the International Court of Justice (ICJ), if the spat over their ‘consular employee’ Raymond Davis, is not resolved in accordance with the Vienna Convention.

In a related development, Western newspapers have revealed that they knew that Davis, who is facing double murder charges, was employed by the American spy agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, but the information had been withheld on the request of the US administration. However, US diplomatic officials on Wednesday continued to insist that Davis was a member of the ‘technical and administrative staff’ of their mission in Pakistan and hence immune from criminal prosecution.

Davis, who is currently on judicial remand in Kot Lakhpat Jail, was arrested after he allegedly shot dead two Pakistanis at a busy bus stop in Lahore on January 27. US officials claim that the killings resulted from a ‘botched robbery’ attempt.

US diplomatic officials told The Express Tribune on condition of anonymity that if Pakistan did not honour the Vienna conventions, the US could move the ICJ. They added that the ICJ rulings are mandatory for all signatories to the Vienna Convention.

The US officials said that the Pakistan government could declare any diplomat persona non grata and ask him to ‘pack up and go’, but it could not try any diplomat in any case.

They ruled out the criminal prosecution of Davis who, according to them, enjoys ‘blanket immunity.’ They hinted that Davis’s CIA links had no bearing on his diplomatic immunity because, according to them, anybody could be appointed as a diplomat by a country.

The US officials also claimed that it was not necessary for a diplomat to acquire his/her diplomatic card from the host country.

However, a top foreign ministry official contradicted the claim and termed it bizarre. “It’s mandatory for diplomats to get their diplomatic cards and other necessary documents from the foreign ministry after landing in a host country,” the official told The Express Tribune.

US officials claimed that the US Embassy in Islamabad had declared Davis’s diplomatic status on January 20. But senior officials in the Foreign Office say that they had not received any intimation from the US mission in this regard before the Lahore shooting.

The US Embassy has allegedly been pressuring the Foreign Office to forge the records and backdate Davis’ diplomatic status.

Former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had also corroborated these allegations on the floor of the National Assembly on Tuesday. He told lawmakers that he had refused the foreign ministry because he feared the government would force him to forge documents to prove Davis’s diplomatic status.

On Wednesday, the US official renewed the demand for the ‘unconditional and early’ release of Davis. US Senator John Kerry, on a recent trip to Pakistan, had promised a thorough investigation by the US Justice Department if Davis was released by Pakistani authorities.

Qureshi advised the US not to publicly demand diplomatic immunity for Davis.  Qureshi recalled that he had refused diplomatic immunity to Davis despite US pressure and had instead made it clear to the Americans that the matter was ‘sensitive’ which could have far-reaching repercussions.

“If asked, I will appear before the Lahore High Court to share my views on the issue which is that Davis does not have blanket immunity,” Qureshi told a gathering at the Rawalpindi district bar on Wednesday. (With additional reporting by OBAID ABABSI in Rawalpindi)

Published in The Express Tribune, February 24th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (47)

  • Asad
    Feb 24, 2011 - 9:28AM

    Umm I don’t think the US is signatory to the International Court of Justice, so how is this going to work out?Recommend

  • n
    Feb 24, 2011 - 9:55AM

    LOL @ USA. I hope they got a chance to hear what Lord Nazir Ahmed from House of Lords said on this case yesterday.
    He clearly said that RD disclosed himself as a ‘contractor’ and contractors dont have diplomatic immunity.
    He said both the countries should act wisely so that the relations do not get rancid over one misconduct.
    He also said that since the crime has taken place openly in daylight so the sentiments of people are hurt and so the decision (and so even if US considers RD having immunity they can waive it).
    Another option could be compensation (meaning monetary or return/change in sentence of Afia)!
    The game has gone interesting….every option asks US to do something this time….let’s wait and watch!Recommend

  • Yousuf
    Feb 24, 2011 - 10:06AM

    Its funny to see how CNN reports this.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/02/22/pakistan.us.shooting/index.html#

    Even funnier, are the comments by the readers.Recommend

  • Ramin
    Feb 24, 2011 - 10:59AM

    tit for tat ..

    Arrest and detain a Pakistani ISI officer from DC consulate ..Recommend

  • adeel
    Feb 24, 2011 - 11:15AM

    ha ha ha… what double standards you have.. America.. Another threat to Pak. Please go to international courts, you don’t have a valid case. lolzzRecommend

  • Adeel Ahmed
    Feb 24, 2011 - 12:06PM

    The Army/ISI should try “Diplomat” Davis for espionage and terrorism under Army Act 1952…Recommend

  • omer
    Feb 24, 2011 - 12:17PM

    and since when did US started accpeting ICJ decisions ????Recommend

  • Kashif Siddiqui
    Feb 24, 2011 - 12:53PM

    Be our guest!Recommend

  • s.g. jilanee
    Feb 24, 2011 - 12:59PM

    ICJ? But where was America’s respect for ICJ when the latter was peoceeding against it for its terrorism unleashed in Nicaragua and ultimately declared it a terrorist state? At that time the US treated the International Court of Justice with utter disdain, declined to answer charges and accept its verdict. Similarly, it disregarded Geneva Conventions against torture in the Iraq war, with flimsy arguments. Nor has it signed the NPT.

    Obviously America claims that internatinal laws and institutions, such as NPT, Vienna Convention or the ICJ are meant for “others.” But the United States isbeyond and above them. That is why it demands that Pakistan follow the Vienna Convention and threatens to take the Raymond Davis case to the ICJ. Recommend

  • Demril
    Feb 24, 2011 - 1:27PM

    This is the time to take full advantage of our typical judiciary…”tareekh pe tareekh” system after 30, 40 hearings in 15, 20 years….USA will forget Davis for sure….Recommend

  • syed maududi
    Feb 24, 2011 - 1:48PM

    where are our liberals. there were comments initially praising ‘rd’ for standing up to robbers.
    pervez huodbhouy and ahmed rashid ayesha siddiqua. this must be the fault of pakistan.Recommend

  • Ahmer Ali
    Feb 24, 2011 - 1:51PM

    Assalam-o-Allaikum Warahmatullah.Very funny threat to Pakkstan by US officials even indirectly.Now our corrupt and beggars leaders must threaten US officials openly in clear words that if US appeals in ICJ in this regard then they shall also appeal in ICJ for Dr. Aafia Siddiqui.Why our leaders are showing effrontery,meanness and cowardice before the nation?Recommend

  • Palvasha von Hassell
    Feb 24, 2011 - 2:00PM

    The US is only scared of what disclosures RD might make, or what will come to light of the issue is allowed to drag on.
    Don’t give in to the bully. See it through.
    The question about them not having recoginized ICJ jurisdiction also occurred to me. Can legal experts plz. comment this Thanks.Recommend

  • Sumair
    Feb 24, 2011 - 2:01PM

    Do whatever you can, US!! I like to see your misery this time, if our Govt does not get sold..Recommend

  • abdullah
    Feb 24, 2011 - 2:02PM

    @ahmer ali
    bcoz our politicians r beggars ..dont call them leaders as they dont deserve 2 b called as leaders………our president is the biggest begger…………..i want ET to publish my comments…….Recommend

  • goggi
    Feb 24, 2011 - 2:10PM

    @Ahmer Ali:
    Kabir sahib wrote: when the guru be blind and the deciple be blind, when the blind follows the blind both fall in a well!
    ye tha, he aur rahe ga hamari qom ka almiyaRecommend

  • J
    Feb 24, 2011 - 3:14PM

    this is a joke. the US talking about honouring international treaties is laughable considering the US attacked Iraq in violation of the UN charter. and now they are actually talking about involving the ICJRecommend

  • Khalid Rahim
    Feb 24, 2011 - 3:30PM

    US filed a case against Iran when their Embassy was highjacked in 1979 and won the case.
    But we have not highjacked their Consulate in Lahore nor their Embassy in Islamabad or killed
    their CIA contract killer. I wonder how the bench at The Hague will accept their petition unless they lack moral courage to tell Washington DC that they are at fault.Recommend

  • Aamer
    Feb 24, 2011 - 3:43PM

    Time to take drone attacks on Pakistan to ICJ too.Recommend

  • nanothermite
    Feb 24, 2011 - 4:18PM

    Once US should go to ICC, I urge all countries to file a joint case against US and demand trillions of dollars of compensation.

    However, it depends if the ICC is a kangaroo court. I understand one Roman Polansky who committed rapes in Los Angeles County of a 13 y old innocent girl ran away and lives freely in france and switzerland even though he is wanted in the Los Angeles County court.Recommend

  • nanothermite
    Feb 24, 2011 - 4:22PM

    Where are our LIBERALS?

    There were comments initially praising ‘rd’ for standing up to robbers.

    Pervez Hudbhoy,
    Ahmed Rashid,
    Ayesha Siddiqua and
    Ardeshir Cowasjee.

    This must be the fault of pakistan.Recommend

  • Nasar Ali
    Feb 24, 2011 - 4:50PM

    If I am not mistaken, to attract the jurisdiction of the ICJ at the Hague, the Argentinian (?) adage that “it takes two to tango” would be applicable, which means that any unilateral action by the US Government to take its complaint of the alleged illegal incarceration of RD to the ICJ will be an utterly futile exercise since that august forum will not and cannot take notice of the matter unless and until Pakistan also agrees to submit to its authority. So while I admire this as a piece of most original and creative thinking by America’s best (official legal brains ?), it is not likely to help them get out of the quagmire in which they are stuck.
    Yet another howler in your story is the quote from US officials that “it is not necessary for a diplomat to acquire his / her diplomatic card from the host country”. While it is true that there is no provision to this effect in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961 ( easily checkable through Google} , the obtaining by personnel of foreign missions of and its obverse the issuance of identity cards by the host government to all, repeat all, the personnel of foreign embassies and consulates is a well known international practice followed by “almost” every country around the globe (I use the word “almost” advisedly because I’m not absolutely sure whether the island paradise of Kiribati in the Pacific Ocean is a maverick in this regard ! ). And guess what – the USA is also an adherent of this practice.(going by its blue book on diplomatic privileges and immunities) Otherwise too it appears to make eminently good sense for such persons to carry a small sticker-size piece of cardboard or plastic rather than a bulky document which is a passport. But then it is not too difficult for anyone who has been following the RD affair to figure out the “why” of the US official’s remarks – when after his superb marksmanship, the Lahore police finally caught up with the fleeing RD, he only had a mighty “diplomatic Passport” issued by the US State Department on him and no measly identity card issued by Pakistan’s Foreign Office. Going by US officials’ reported remarks they would have us believe that it is not as if the US embassy in Islamabad or the US consulate in Lahore (which ever institution of which he was / is a staffer) forgot to advise him to apply for one, they just did not consider it necessary for him to have one !. If you can believe this, you also have to believe that Popeye is my uncle and Olive Oyl is my aunt–and – and Marvin is my nephew.!. Phew. Recommend

  • Asif
    Feb 24, 2011 - 5:36PM

    Please release Raymond Davis, no point holding him back! We need to understand that the US has a lot of influence in ICJ, so we will not only loose our case there but also end up severely damaging our relations with the US. We should not forget that we are very much dependent on the US for things like money, aids, military etc.

    So I think in this case also Pakistan will have to make a sacrifice like it has been doing always. Amen.Recommend

  • Salman
    Feb 24, 2011 - 6:53PM

    International court of jsutice. let me remind abu gharab, Gitmo, and many otehr human right violations. Besides US will be a histry in couple of years and tis time for Paksitan to focus on its relationsship with China. Besides being neighbours they have always been all-weather friends. And pakistanis who have green cards and US passports, Pakistan shoudl detain them at Pakistani airports and treta theme the same way Pakistani nationals are treated at US airports. Who know how many of thema re snakes working for CIA. Recommend

  • Ram
    Feb 24, 2011 - 6:53PM

    Empty tin cans cluttering in the wind again. The bravado expressed on these pages is stupendous. When US sneezes, Pakistan gets numonia.Recommend

  • Salman
    Feb 24, 2011 - 6:56PM

    @Ahmer Ali because the corrupt have their wealth and children living in the US. Ask any leader or Army general :) not everyone is like Imran kahn who has all his wealth in Pakistan and even his ex-wife supports Paksitan being a British citizen. This is called Gharat and Honor that most of Pakistani leaders don’t understand. Recommend

  • Salman
    Feb 24, 2011 - 7:00PM

    Paksitan should resolve this case soon and hang him before the public jsut like the US did to Saddam Hussain. Why Saddam Hussain didn’t have any immunity? Recommend

  • Roflcopter
    Feb 24, 2011 - 7:13PM

    USA is such a joke. Just hand Raymond Davis the punishment he deserves so USA can stop moaning.Recommend

  • Arif Khan
    Feb 24, 2011 - 7:36PM

    Whoever Raymond Davis is and whatever he was doing on Pakistani soil, he is being claimed by the US as a serving diplomat who enjoys complete diplomatic immunity. The whole sordid affair is tragic and is proving to be detrimental to Pak-US relations. While we can badmouth the US for its trigger-happy approach to Pakistan, we cannot forget that it was Pakistan and its unique power plays — Musharraf’s policies of appeasement — that allowed CIA agents free licence to roam around in Pakistan and do as they please. The common man is incensed that Davis could very well be allowed to get off scot-free after killing two Pakistani citizens. The public backlash may be high pitched but, so far, it seems as if it might not attain the sound and fury of the blasphemy issue that has recently fizzled out. The US backlash on the other hand, may be a very real breakdown of our economic system without their funding.Recommend

  • Miti
    Feb 24, 2011 - 8:59PM

    We should not mix up the International Criminal Court of Justice (ICJ) – which is being referred to in the article – with the International Criminal Court (ICC) – which is a completely different story!

    “The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations
    (UN). It was established in June 1945 by the Charter of the United Nations and began work in April 1946.

    The seat of the Court is at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands). Of the six principal organs of the United Nations, it is the only one not located in New York (United States of America).

    The Court’s role is to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by States and to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorized United Nations organs and specialized agencies.

    The Court is composed of 15 judges, who are elected for terms of office of nine years by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council. It is assisted by a Registry, its administrative organ. Its official languages are English and French.” (http://www.icj-cij.org/court/index.php?p1=1 )

    “The International Court of Justice was established by the Charter of the United Nations, which provides that all Member States of the United Nations are ipso facto parties to the Court’s Statute. The composition and functioning of the Court are organized by this Statute, and by the Rules of the Court which are drawn up by the Court itself.” (http://www.icj-cij.org/documents/index.php?p1=4)

    In conclusion, it does not make any sense to write or discuss about so-called pressure by the US to go to the ICJ, because such UN court may ultimately be a most useful instrument for settling this dispute in the interest of all parties – peacefully and with mutual respect and dignity.Recommend

  • pp_arman
    Feb 24, 2011 - 9:14PM

    @ Asif,

    It is a sacrifice or loosing self respect. It is better to be without any aid if self esteem is at stake. I am sure no politician or religious party is interested in bringing justice to the man who killed 2 Pakistani. What they want an American to bring to justice to keep Anti-Amerian stuff alive. This is clear matter. But anyways whether he is Americian or someone else. He should be brought to justice under the law of Pakistan without bowing down to pressure from US; under the umbrella of aid.
    In fact, there is no need of aid, if miltray diverts their 30-40% budget to welfare of people but Miltary prefer to loose self respect than maintaining its influence on people of Pakistan.

    Its time to wake up….Recommend

  • Miti
    Feb 24, 2011 - 9:32PM

    @Miti: Can’t believe it. I just did it myself and added the “Criminal” to the ICJ – where it does not belong… So easy to mix all those institutions up. Recommend

  • Abdul-Mughis Rana
    Feb 24, 2011 - 11:18PM

    Let us see how many cats R.D, or whatever his name is, pulls out of the American bag!

    If we don’t fight to bitter ends does not mean that we fear them. We are Muslims and realize our responsibility towards humanity, we will Insha ALLAH present the best Justice case, not for America’s approval but for the approval of Almighty!!

    Believe me all, a Muslim cannot, cannot, do 9/11, suicide bombing there is a hidden hand which has entered our country too under cover and churning hate between Muslims to Muslims and Muslims to minorities. America’s reputation cannot be denied. But we have to be careful not to displease Almighty in any case!!!! Recommend

  • rehan
    Feb 25, 2011 - 2:10AM

    Tom and Jerry show!Recommend

  • yanks412631
    Feb 25, 2011 - 5:10AM

    he better be released, get him home and out of that damn country. Im sure he did what he needed to do.Recommend

  • Shahzad
    Feb 25, 2011 - 5:39AM

    How is it any of us really knows what happened? Why would an American CIA agent want to waste his time killing 2 petty thieves in broad daylight on a busy street in Pakistan? Why is Pakistan so bent out of shape about two thieves being killed? If it were a Muslim Pakistani that shot and killed these thieves, would the reaction be the same? Maybe Raymond Davis thought the thieves were suicide bombers…this is Pakistan after all. Innocent people are being blown up and killed by their own people on a daily basis. Whatever the case may be, Raymond Davis will never have a fair trial in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Anoop
    Feb 25, 2011 - 8:48AM

    Who do Pakistanis think they are? Messing with the greatest Super Power of our generation?

    One can understand this if Pakistan has some natural resources to rely on or was a growing power capable of taking on the US, but Pakistan is none of that. I call it sheer stupidity.Recommend

  • Patriot
    Feb 25, 2011 - 9:15AM

    Okay keep him detained, do what your threatening. All thats going to do is make us stop supporting you. Have fun being over run by revolutionaries. This is going to take us to the next level of the Britons model of revolution either way. If we (America) stop granting aid to the current government they wont be able to keep going and will be overthrown. If they release Davis, the people will be really angry, but atleast you’ll have us to help protect you. Don’t be stupid, come on we have the strongest military in the world. You need us just as much as we need you at this point.Recommend

  • Majid Nasim Ahmad
    Feb 25, 2011 - 12:40PM

    Pakistan should take the USA to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). They have illegally detained Aafia Siddiqui and so many other people, they kidnapped Aafia from Karachi and took her to Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan where they tortured her till 2008 and also shot her 2 times claiming that she had tried to shoot at them when, in fact, her fingerprints weren’t even found on the gun. Then, she was taken by the USA for trial in the USA and given 86 years in prison for being innocent. She is not even allowed to meet her own brother, let alone receive letters from her loved ones. They have put her in the notorious Carswell prison, where many other detainees have died because of torture by the USA. They say that prison is for mentally unstable prisoners, so why did the US judge declare her mentally fit to stand trial in the first place. It is clear that the USA is the one that breaks all the laws and treats innocent people like dirt. Pakistan should immediately file a case against the USA in the ICJ and I’m sure that they will find Aafia Siddiqui innocent of all charges as there is no evidence implicating her. In the case of Raymond Davis, he has been discovered to be a CIA agent and he has been found to be in contact with the Taliban and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and the USA is still considering him as having diplomatic immunity when all the evidence is to the contrary. So, the USA can take this case to the ICJ but they will fail miserably in getting him released.Recommend

  • Demril
    Feb 25, 2011 - 1:41PM

    @ Shahzad: Y would an innocent american roam around with unlicensed gun and in a private number car…..common sense is not common these days…Recommend

  • Amrikan
    Feb 25, 2011 - 2:05PM

    Pakistanis, please come back to your senses. If you wish to teach the Americans a lesson, this is definitely not the time. If the US stops all aid to your country, Pakistan will go to the pits. Let go of Raymond Davis and fast! Recommend

  • Amused
    Feb 25, 2011 - 3:33PM

    Davis should be made example of. His right to immunity if exists(extermely doubtful) should be waived.After all any sane person would expect a country like USA (waging wars all over the globe in name of all sorts of elusive freedoms) to respect a law of a country. I hope Davis is dealt with swiftly and severely. Enough lives lost on this goosechase of american imperialism in Pakistan. Pakistanis should get up and follows their clerics, they appear to have the right idea when it comes to americans.Recommend

  • Mad Mal
    Feb 26, 2011 - 1:03AM

    This RD person is not the player, he is the pawn. Look behind him to who gives the order for responsibility and motivation. Unless this was indeed purely self defense the only time a man like this kills is on ordersRecommend

  • Gerard
    Feb 26, 2011 - 2:25AM

    @Ramin:
    I would wholeheartedly agree with you Ramin, is you could demonstrate that said “officer” had gunned down two FBI or CIA agents on 7th Avenue in New York City on a Friday at noon! But you can’t, can you….Recommend

  • A R Khan
    Feb 26, 2011 - 2:39AM

    @Yousuf:
    It’s absolutely riddddiculous how CNN overlooks several important issues of the case and tries to forge another story. But you should read the comments by Americans at the bottom of the article. Recommend

  • Shahzad
    Feb 26, 2011 - 4:33AM

    If Davis is killed, does it make Pakistan a better country? What is the big picture here? Shouldn’t Pakistan feel somewhat obliged to listen to and honor America, seeing as they are so willingly accepting billions of American dollars? This whole thing is ridiculous.Recommend

  • Ahmed Khan Nizari
    Feb 26, 2011 - 9:08AM

    @Patriot: We don’t. You are deluded in thinking so.Recommend

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