Pak court remands American to 14 day judicial custody

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A MuhammadPeshawar, Feb 26 (PTI) A Pakistani court todayremanded an American security contractor, arrested in thisnorthwestern city for not possessing valid travel documents,to judicial custody for 14 days.

Aaron Mark DeHaven, described in media reports as asecurity contractor, was arrested by security agenciesyesterday and booked under the Foreigners Act for illegallyresiding in Pakistan after his visa expired in October lastyear.

DeHaven was brought to court in an armoured vehicleamidst tight security.

He was sent to the central jail after the courtremanded him to judicial custody.

In a brief statement, the US Embassy in Islamabadsaid consular representatives had met with DeHaven.

"We appreciate the cooperation of the Pakistaniauthorities and respect the Pakistani legal process," thestatement said.

DeHaven came to Pakistan on a business visa and hadmade some investments in the country, officials said.

He had no connection with any NGO and was running hisown business, they said.

He was detained in the posh University Town area ofPeshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Reports said his firm, Catalyst Services, offeredservices like secure residences, protective surveillance andarmed security.

They also said that Dehaven was married to a Pakistaniwoman.

The development comes at a time when US-Pakistanrelations have plunged to a new low over the arrest of CIAcontractor Raymond Davis after he shot and killed two armedmen in Lahore last month.

Earlier, in Washington, the State Department said theUS is arranging through Pakistan government consular access toDeHaven.

"We''ve seen reports that Aaron Mark Dehaven has beendetained by police in Peshawar, and we are arranging consularaccess through the Government of Pakistan," State Departmentspokesman P J Crowley told reporters.

Crowley said he had no other information aboutDehaven.

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