Pakistanis protest, court extends US diplomat detention

Pakistani groups demand the government resists U.S. pressure to free him.

Pakistanis protest, court extends US diplomat detention

An American diplomat who killed two Pakistani men last week will be held for eight more days to allow for more investigation, a prosecutor said on Thursday, rejecting US claim the man has diplomatic immunity.

Pakistani groups demand the government resists U.S. pressure to free him.

The United States says Davis is a diplomat and has called for his immediate release. He was arrested a week ago after shooting dead two men in the city of Lahore.

The Lahore High Court on Tuesday barred the government from handing him over to Washington, saying it would decide whether he had diplomatic immunity or not.

Amid tight security, police brought Davis in an armoured car to appear before a magistrate in Lahore on Thursday. Journalists were barred from the proceedings.

"The police officials told the court that investigations have not yet been completed. The judge extended the remand(detention) for eight more days," Abdul Samad, a deputy prosecutor general at the high court told Reuters.

Davis told the court that he opened fire on the two motorcyclists "in self-defence". The two men later died in the hospital.

Hundreds of supporters and some relatives of the two men, as well as those of a man who police said was run down and killed when U.S. personnel in a consulate vehicle apparently tried to rescue Davis, held a protest rally later on Thursday.

The protesters marched to the U.S. consulate and burned U.S. flags. They said the government should not hand Davis over to U.S. Authorities, witnesses said.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik told the Senate on Wednesday that Davis held a diplomatic passport but maintained that his case would be settled by a court.

A Western diplomat said it was possible that Malik's comments were laying the groundwork for Davis' eventual release under laws governing diplomatic immunity.

Agencies

 

Last Mod: 03 Şubat 2011, 15:09
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