Pakistani court extends remand of American shooter


Islamabad : A court in Pakistan on Thursday extended till February 11 physical police remand of an American national, detained in Pakistan on double murder charges, court officials said.

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Raymond Davis, an employee of the American Consulate, shot dead two Pakistanis on Jan. 27 in the eastern city of Lahore, sparking protest in Pakistan and a diplomatic row between the two allies. The shooter claimed that he had acted in self-defence as the two armed men wanted to rob him. Families of the American rejected the charges.

A third Pakistani was crushed to death by a U.S. Consulate vehicle that went to help the diplomat shortly after the shooting incident.

Davis faces double murder charges and also charges of carrying illegal arms, police say.

The court granted bail to him in the case of possessing illegal arms and court ordered him to submit surety bonds of one hundred rupees for bail in the arms case.

Davis was produced in a court in Lahore on Thursday after he completed a six-day physical police remand and the judge extended his remand for another eight days, lawyers said.

The American shooter was brought to the court in an armoured vehicle and security had been stepped up in and around the court premises.

The issue has caused tension between the two allies as Washington asking for Davis release, calming that he enjoys diplomatic immunity. Pakistani officials and investigators say that the case is in the court and it will decide it. They also say that the accused has not proved his diplomatic immunity.

Lahore High Court on Tuesday barred the government from handing over the American citizen to the US, and also ordered the government to put his name on the Exit Control List (ECL).

Interior Minister Rehman Malik told the National Assembly that Davis has been put on the ECL.

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani told the National Assembly on Wednesday that Pakistan will not accept any pressure for the release of the U.S. accused and the court will decide his fate.

He was responding to the opposition’s allegations that the government was trying to protect the U.S. national.