Pak court extends American''s remand over Lahore shooting

Lahore, Feb 3 (PTI) Notwithstanding pressure from the US,a Pakistani court today extended the police remand of anAmerican consulate employee, who shot and killed two allegedrobbers here last week, for eight more days to facilitatefurther investigation.

Raymond Davis, who has said he acted in self-defence asthe two men were allegedly trying to rob him, was brought tothe magistrate''s court here in an armoured vehicle.

Tight security arrangements were put in place at thecourt, which was ringed by scores of policemen.

Public and media were barred from the court.

Police officials told the court that they needed moretime to complete their investigation, following which thejudge extended Davis'' remand for eight days.

The judge also granted bail to Davis in connection withanother case registered against him for illegally carrying aweapon.

Davis was asked to provide a surety of Rs one lakh forthe bail.

The judge asked police to present Davis in court again onFebruary 11.

Davis has told the police that he opened fire on twomotorcyclists in self-defence as he feared they planned to robhim.

A third Pakistani was killed when he was hit by a USconsulate vehicle rushing to help Davis.

The incident has emerged as a fresh irritant inUS-Pakistan ties at a time when anti-American sentiments arehigh in the country.

Pakistan''s top leadership, including President Asif AliZardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, have said thecourt will decide the matter according to the country''s laws.

Pakistani officials have also rebuffed the US demand torelease Davis on the ground that he enjoys diplomaticimmunity.

The Lahore High Court on Tuesday barred the governmentfrom handing Davis over to the US.

The High Court said it would decide whether Davis hasdiplomatic immunity after getting a response from the ForeignMinistry on his status.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik has acknowledged thatDavis holds a diplomatic passport but did not say whether hewas issued a diplomatic visa.

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