Pak court sends murder-accused US diplomat on 14-day judicial remand

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Lahore, Feb 11(ANI): A Pakistani court has sent double murder-accused US diplomat Raymond Davis on a 14-day judicial remand.

Davis, who shot two Pakistani men in Lahore last month, was produced before a judge of a lower court in Lahore on Friday after the expiry of his physical remand.

"He has been remanded in judicial custody for 14 days. The next hearing will be on February 25," Geo News quoted Punjab government prosecutor Abdul Samad, as telling reporters.

"He is being sent to central jail Kot Lakhpat," said police official Suhail Sukhera, referring to the high-security prison in the eastern city of Lahore.

Washington maintains that the 36-year-old US official has diplomatic immunity and shot the two Pakistanis in "self-defence", when they tried to rob him.

To avoid a popular backlash in a country where anti-Americanism is rife, Pakistani officials have said that the matter is sub judice and up to the court, even though the US insists the Davis' detention is illegal under international agreements.

The US has intensified its pressure on Pakistan to release Davis, with US lawmakers threatening to cut aid to Islamabad unless it frees him.

Three members of the House of Representatives drove home the point on a visit to Pakistan, telling Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani starkly that the US Congress was working on its budget and looking for areas to cut aid.

"It is imperative that they release him and there is certainly the possibility that there would be repercussions if they don't," Representative John Kline, a Republican from Minnesota, was quoted as telling reporters on his return.

He said it was "entirely possible that a member of Congress would come down and offer an amendment to cut funding for Pakistan based on their detaining Davis."

"My guess is there would be a lot of support for such an amendment, frankly, because of the outrage of detaining an American with diplomatic immunity," he added.

When asked if US aid to Pakistan would be at risk if Davis stayed behind bars in the country, Representative Buck McKeon, who heads the House Armed Services Committee, replied: "It very well could be." (ANI)

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