Thursday, March 3, 2011

Davis fails to validate immunity claim

Islamabad: Hearing the case of detained CIA operative Raymond Davis, a Pakistani court said on Thursday that his trial will continue despite American insistence that he has diplomatic immunity.
Davis’s closed-door trial took place in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail where he is incarcerated. Machine guns were installed on the jail’s rooftop and concrete bunkers covered with barbed wires have been placed on the road leading to the prison. Davis, who killed two people in Lahore on January 27, claimed again before the court that he acted in selfdefence and that he is immune from prosecution in Pakistan. The court rejected his plea and adjourned the case until March 8.
The court passed an order saying Davis has failed to produce any legitimate document for the past six weeks which could prove his diplomatic immunity. “After deliberating, the judge rejected his immunity claim,’’ said Asad Manzoor Butt, the lawyer representing the two men killed by Davis.
However, Davis’s lawyer Zahid Bukhartold the court that he could not be prosecuted because his immunity was pending in the Lahore high court, which has ordered the government to declare by March 14 whether Davis has immunity. Justice Yusuf Aujla said the high court has not barred him from proceeding on Davis’s murder trial.

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