Case against ex-CIA station chief referred to Fata

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Police registered the FIR in 2014 against CIA station chief Johnathan Banks on the direction of Islamabad High Court. —Reuters/File
Police registered the FIR in 2014 against CIA station chief Johnathan Banks on the direction of Islamabad High Court. —Reuters/File

ISLAMABAD: The government on Thursday informed the Islamabad High Court (IHC) that after cancellation of the FIR against former CIA station chief and his legal adviser, the Islamabad police have referred the case to the secretary Fata secretariat.

Police registered the FIR in 2014 against CIA station chief Johnathan Banks and his legal aide John A. Rizzo on the direction of IHC on a petition filed by Kareem Khan.

Khan, a native of Mirali, North Waziristan was seeking the FIR registration against then CIA station chief Banks after the deaths of his son and a brother in a 2009 drone attack.

He stated in the petition that his brother Asif Iqbal and son Zaheenullah were killed in a drone strike in 2009 when Banks was the CIA station chief but no FIR had been registered against the US official so far.

Explaining the reason for referring this matter to the Fata secretary, barrister Jadoon said since the crime occurred in tribal areas therefore Islamabad police technically could not investigate the matter.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui hearing the case observed that government was not acting as per law due to the involvement of US spy agency.

Barrister Jadoon said that all the related record and copy of FIR has been forwarded to Fata secretariat adding that the authorities concerned had also been directed to take action according to the law.

The court offered the counsel for Khan, Mirza Shahzad Akbar, to study the record the federal government had sent to Fata secretariat. The case has been adjourned until next week.

Published in Dawn, June 26th, 2015

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