Pakistani court set to try CIA operative on double murder charge
A Pakistani trial court is going to initiate proceedings of double murder case against CIA operative, Raymond Davis, in the prison where the accused is being kept in Lahore city.
Davis had allegedly killed two Pakistani men in Lahore, the second largest city of Pakistan, on January 27 what he claimed in self-defence. But the Pakistani investigators have rejected his claim of self-defence.
Another vehicle, which apparently came to rescue Davis, crushed another young motorcyclist while rushing on the wrong side of the road.
Subsequently, Shumaila Faheem, the widow of Muhammad Faheem, one of the victims of Davis, committed suicide a little over a week after her husband's death and she told a private television channel before breathing her last that she took the extreme step of consuming poisonous pills in sheer frustration that she would not get justice and the killer of her husband would escape punishment.
In a related development, reports said on Thursday that some unidentified persons forced their entry into the house of an uncle of Shumaila in Faisalabad and besides torturing him, they forcibly administered him poisonous pills and fled before the family members rushed to rescue the man, identified as Muhammad Sarwar.
The United States initially claimed he was a technical staff member at its consulate in Lahore but the reports in Pakistani media quoted the investigators as having said that an identity card of the US consulate in Peshawar, the capital city of militancy-plagued northern province of Pakistan, was found on Davis. It, however, later transpired that Davis is a CIA operative and at the time he killed two persons he was on a spying mission.
The Pakistani government is currently under immense pressure from both the United States and the Pakistani people. The US wants the CIA operative released immediately on the pretext of so-called diplomatic immunity whereas the Pakistani people want the Davis hanged to death for killing two persons.
LAHORE: A Pakistani court is to begin proceedings Friday at a hearing into double murder charges against a CIA contractor who shot dead two men in Lahore last month, lawyers said.
Washington is pushing hard for Pakistan to free Raymond Davis, arguing that he has diplomatic immunity and is backing his claim that he acted in self-defence when he shot the men in a busy city street nearly four weeks ago.
Revelations that Davis was a CIA contractor have heaped pressure on Pakistan’s fragile government and further ramped up burning public mistrust of Washington.
The Pakistani court where police filed double murder charges against Davis this month is to sit Friday inside Kot Lakhpat jail in Lahore, where Davis is being held, ahead of a High Court hearing to determine the diplomatic immunity issue, set for March 14.
“The hearing will be held inside Kot Lakhpat jail and notices have been served to all concerned,” public prosecutor Abdul Samad told AFP.
“The immunity case before the Lahore High Court will not affect the proceedings of this court until the high court bars it from doing so,” Samad said.
“We have framed double-murder charges against him and the copies of the final report will be provided to all parties,” he added.
Asad Manzoor Butt, the lawyer for the families of the men who were shot dead by Davis, said he had also received a notice telling him to appear in court.
“We hope to get the copy of formal charges tomorrow. It depends on the judge if he starts the hearing or adjourns it after giving of copies,” Butt said.
Police have said they recovered a Glock pistol, four loaded magazines, a GPS navigation system and a small telescope from Davis’ car, after the shooting on a busy street in Lahore on January 27.
A third Pakistani was struck down and killed by a US diplomatic vehicle that came to Davis’s assistance. US officials denied Pakistan access to the vehicle and the occupants are widely believed to have left the country.
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