Davis case adjourned till March 14 after Pak FM seeks more time to reply on his status

Thursday, February 17, 2011

LAHORE - Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry has sought more time from the Lahore High Court to file its reply on the immunity status of double murder-accused US official Raymond Davis.

The LHC began the hearing on Thursday to decide whether Davis possesses diplomatic immunity in a case that has frayed ties between the United States and Pakistan.

Chief Justice LHC Ejaz Ahmed Chaudhry said that the Pakistan government had to decide whether Davis was a diplomat, adding that the court cannot decide in the case until the Foreign Ministry’s response over his immunity status.

“As the Deputy Attorney General has requested three weeks to submit a reply on the status of Raymond Davis, the case is adjourned until March 14,” SAMAA TV quoted Justice Chaudhry, as saying.

Earlier, the court had given the Foreign Ministry 15 days to answer whether full diplomatic status was held by Davis, who has been remanded in custody since his arrest following the shooting incident on January 27.

During the hearing, the LHC also directed the government not to send Davis abroad until the case proceedings against him get completed.

The Deputy Attorney General informed the court that the detained US national had been named in the Exit Control List.

It is noteworthy that former Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had said yesterday that the Foreign Office had briefed him that Davis did not possess blanket immunity- something that the US was claiming for him.

“I was briefed that Raymond has no complete immunity. I instructed the Foreign Secretary to follow the law,” Qureshi said at a press conference after his meeting with visiting US Senator John Kerry.

Meanwhile, in a statement, the Foreign Ministry dismissed the media speculation that it had already confirmed Davis’ right to immunity. (ANI)

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