Pak court adjourns Davis case till March 16



Lahore: A Pakistani court on Tuesday adjourned till March 16 a case against suspected CIA contractor Raymond Davis, arrested for gunning down two men here in January, after defence lawyers sought more time to study documents filed by the prosecution.

During proceedings conducted at the Kot Lakhpat Jail for security reasons, lawyers defending Davis told Additional District and Sessions Judge Yousuf Aujla that they needed more time to study documents and matters related to the case.

The judge then adjourned the matter till March 16.

Davis again reportedly refused to accept the challan or charge-sheet filed by police against him.

At the last hearing on March 3, the judge had rejected Davis' claim of diplomatic immunity and said it would go ahead with his murder trial for killing two men in Lahore on January 27.

Davis had told the judge that he has immunity and cannot be tried by Pakistani courts.

But Judge Aujla said no legitimate document had been presented by Davis or the Pakistan government to show that the American had diplomatic immunity.

The former Special Forces soldier was arrested after he shot and killed two armed men he claimed were trying to rob him. Police rejected Davis' claim that he acted in self defence and booked him for murder.

Pakistani leaders, including Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, have said the matter should be settled by the courts.

The case has been complicated by reports in western media that Davis was working as a security contractor for the CIA.

The Pakistan government has rejected repeated US demands for Davis to be freed on the grounds of diplomatic immunity and relations between the two countries have plunged to a new low.

On March 14, the Lahore High Court will hear a separate case to decide Davis' diplomatic status.

PTI