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Pak files chargesheet against US diplomat Davis

Davis was arrested on Jan 27 after he allegedly shot two armed men in a busy area of Lahore.

Updated: Feb 15, 2011, 15:49 PM IST

Lahore/Washington: The tussle between the
US and Pakistan over the fate of jailed diplomat intensified
as Raymond Davis was formally charged with murder in the
chargesheet submitted to the trial court here and Washington
said it would place before the jury a statement that the
official had diplomatic immunity.

Rejecting Davis` claim that he shot two men in self-
defence, the prosecution filed a challan or chargesheet in the
court of a district and sessions judge, formally charging him
of murder.

Officials told the media that the chargesheet was
based on forensic reports, the statement of Davis and the
investigation conducted by police.

They said the charges were based on witnesses who had
stated that the American pursued the two men and fired at
them. The next hearing in Davis` case is scheduled for
February 25.

The new turn in the case comes as a top official has
said that US will submit a petition on Thursday to the Lahore
court, certifying that Davis has diplomatic immunity and he
should be released.

"On Thursday, we will present a petition to the court
to certify that he has diplomatic immunity and that he should
be released," P J Crowley, State Department spokesman, told
reporters.

Earlier, Lahore police chief Aslam Tareen had told the
media on February 11 that investigators had found no evidence
to support Davis` contention that he had acted in
self-defence.

He described the killing of the two men by Davis as an
act of "intentional and cold-blooded murder".

Davis was arrested on January 27 after he shot and
killed the two armed men in a busy area of Lahore.

He claimed he had opened fire as the two men were
allegedly trying to rob him.

Subsequent reports have suggested that the two men
were operatives of the Inter-Services Intelligence agency who
were assigned to tail Davis.

The episode has taken US-Pakistan ties to a new low
after Pakistani leaders rejected repeated American demands for
Davis to be freed.

The Pakistan government has insisted that Davis` case
will be decided in court according to the country`s law.

The American official is currently being held in
Lahore`s Kot Lakhpat Jail where his security has been stepped
up because of fears that he might be bumped off.

A senior Pakistani police official yesterday reviewed
security arrangements in and around the jail.

Officials said Davis is being kept in a
high-security barrack guarded by an armed contingent of
wardens and law enforcing personnel.

PTI