Take action against US consulate driver:Pak court tells police

Published: Saturday, February 19, 2011, 0:00 [IST]

M Zulqernain

Lahore, Feb 18 (PTI) A Pakistani court today directedpolice to take action against the driver of a speeding USconsulate vehicle that killed a motorcyclist while rushing toaid American official Raymond Davis, arrested after he gunneddown two men here.

Lahore High Court Chief Justice Ijaz Chaudhry alsoordered police to take the vehicle from the US consulate intotheir possession for investigation.

The judge issued the orders in response to a petitionfiled by Muhammad Ijaz-ur-Rehman, the brother of Obaid-ur-Rehman, the motorcyclist killed by the consulate vehicle.

Davis was arrested on January 27 after he shot andkilled two armed men he said were trying to rob him at Mozangin Lahore.

Obaid-ur-Rehman died in the same area when he was hitby a vehicle that was carrying US consulate employees who wereresponding to Davis'' call for help.

Ijaz-ur-Rehman asked the court to issue an order topolice for the immediate arrest of the driver of the consulatevehicle.

The Chief Justice called an Assistant Advocate Generalof Punjab province and directed him to ensure that the court�sorder is complied with.

The Chief Justice observed: "It is the police''s dutyto investigate the case in a fair and impartial manner and tobring on record and consider evidence which they wish to relyon. The investigation is directed to record the statements of(Ijaz-ur-Rehman) and eyewitnesses, provided that theinvestigation of the case has not so far been completed, andproceed with the matter in accordance with the law."

The court then disposed of Ijaz-ur-Rehman''s petition.

The dead man''s brother had registered a case at LyttonRoad police station, accusing the driver of the US consulatevehicle of murder.

The US consulate in Lahore and the Embassy inIslamabad have not yet identified the officials who were inthe vehicle that killed Obaid-ur-Rehman.

The consulate has also not responded to severalrequests from authorities in Lahore to hand over the vehicle.

Police have rejected Davis'' claim that he acted inself-defence and have charged him with murder in a ''challan''filed in court this week.

The Pakistan government, fearful of a backlash due togrowing anti-American sentiment in the country, has rejectedUS demands to free Davis and said his case will be decided bythe courts.

Matters have been further complicated because of therivalry between the Pakistan People''s Party, which heads thefederal government, and the main opposition PML-N, which rulesPunjab.

The PML-N government has said it intends to prosecuteDavis and other Americans involved in the hit-and-run incidentwhile the PPP is trying to find an amicable solution to therow that has taken Pakistan-US ties to a new low.

 

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