Sat, Feb 12, 2011 - Page 5 News List

Pakistan police reject gunman’s claim


Pakistani police escort Raymond Davis, center, to a court in Lahore, Pakistan, on Jan. 28.

Photo: AFP

Pakistani police yesterday rejected the self-defense claim made by a US official who shot two men in broad daylight on a busy street late last month, saying it was a clear case of murder.

“The police investigation and forensic report show it was not self-defense,” Lahore city police chief Aslam Tareen told a news conference.

“His plea has been rejected by police investigators,” he said, speaking in English. “He gave no chance to them to survive. That is why we consider it was not self-defense. We have proof it was not self-defense. It was clear murder.”

The police commander in Lahore, where US official Raymond Davis was arrested on Jan. 27 after the shooting incident that has sparked angry protests in Pakistan, confirmed that the suspect has a US diplomatic passport.

A Pakistani court yesterday extended the American’s remand by another 14 days and Tareen said one or two more reports were pending, before inquiries would be wrapped up and a report presented to court.

“It was cold-blooded murder. Eyewitnesses have told police that he directly shot at them and he kept shooting even when one was running away. It was an intentional murder,” Tareen said.

He said no fingerprints had been found on the triggers of the pistols found on the bodies of the two men and that tests showed the bullets remained in the magazine of the guns, and not the chamber.

A police official previously said that two pistols, magazine belts and four mobile phones, at least two of which they believe could have been stolen, were found on the bodies of the two dead Pakistanis.

The officer described one of them as a street robber “wanted” in connection with three or four incidents and the other as his accomplice.

Tareen said yesterday that police had written “five times” to the US consulate in Lahore, requesting access to a consulate vehicle that ran over and killed a third Pakistani man in an attempt to reach Davis.

Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama’s national security advisor has threatened to boot Pakistan Ambassador Husain Haqqani from the country if Davis was not released by yesterday, ABC News said.

Citing two Pakistani officials, ABC News said late on Thursday that US National Security Advisor Tom Donilon made the threat after summoning Haqqani to the White House on Monday.

He also said US consulates in Pakistan may be closed and an upcoming visit to Washington by Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari could be canceled if Davis was not freed.

While the White House has declined to comment, a senior US official confirmed the details of the report to ABC News.

Haqqani took to his Twitter feed to deny the threats were ever made.

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