Pak court sends US official to jail on judicial remand

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M Zulqernain

Lahore, Feb 11 (PTI) US official Raymond Davis,arrested after he shot and killed two Pakistani men he claimedwere trying to rob him, was today remanded to judicial custodyfor 14 days by a local court here.

Davis was brought to the judicial magistrate''s courtin Model Town area in an armoured vehicle amidst tightsecurity.

In an apparent attempt to confuse a large number oflocal and foreign journalists tracking the movements of Davis,police sent two armoured vehicles to as many courts.

"He has been remanded to judicial custody for 14 days.

The next hearing will be on February 25," Abdul Samad, theprosecutor for the Punjab government, told the media outsidethe court.

Shortly after the court gave its order, Davis wastaken to Kot Lakhpat jail.

Authorities had recently made special arrangements forhim at the prison.

Officials said police are expected to submit a''challan'' or charge-sheet against Davis in court after thecompletion of his judicial remand.

Davis was remanded to judicial custody as police hadcompleted their investigation into the incident in which hegunned down two Pakistani men in Lahore on January 27.

A third Pakistani died after he was hit by a USconsulate care rushing to aid Davis.

Earlier, Davis was presented before the judicialmagistrate on January 28, when he was remanded to policecustody till February 3.

The remand was subsequently extended till February 11.

Top Pakistani leaders have rebuffed US demands forDavis to be freed on the ground that he enjoys diplomaticimmunity, saying the matter will be decided in court accordingto the country''s laws.

The stand-off between Pakistan and the US over Davishas taken the already tense relationship between the twocountries to a new low.

The US has suspended all high-level contacts withPakistan and reports have suggested they will not be resumedtill Davis is freed.

US lawmakers have warned that the matter could affectAmerican civil and military aid running into billions ofdollars.

There are also reports that the matter could impact anupcoming Pakistan-Afghanistan-US meeting and President AsifAli Zardari�s visit to the US.

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