Pakistani arrested over killing of British policewoman wants to be tried at home

Updated January 29, 2020

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Police officers escort Piran Ditta Khan, centre, who was arrested in the killing of a British woman police officer, following his court appearance in Islamabad on Wednesday. — AP
Police officers escort Piran Ditta Khan, centre, who was arrested in the killing of a British woman police officer, following his court appearance in Islamabad on Wednesday. — AP

A Pakistani man arrested earlier this month in Islamabad over the 2005 killing of a British woman police officer does not want to be extradited to Britain and is asking that he be tried in his home country, his lawyer said on Wednesday.

The 71-year-old suspect, Piran Ditta Khan, appeared before a court in the capital for a second hearing over Britain's extradition request. His arrest was the result of close cooperation between Pakistani authorities and British detectives, police said.

His lawyer, Raja Ghaneem Aabar, said the court is expected to review investigations by Pakistani officials into the case before considering a final decision on Britain's extradition request. The next hearing is due within 10 days, he added.

Khan refused to answer questions by reporters as to whether he was involved in the death of police officer Sharon Beshenivsky, a 38-year-old mother of three shot dead outside a travel agency in Bradford while responding to an armed robbery call.

After the killing, six men were arrested in Britain but Khan, who was suspected of being the armed gang's organiser, had fled abroad. In 2016, police in Britain issued a fresh appeal for Khan who remained at large despite a reward of 20,000 British pounds (about $26,000) for information leading to his arrest.

Aabar, the lawyer, said Khan has maintained his innocence during the investigation in Pakistan. He would fight to prove his client's innocence, Aabar added, saying Khan was falsely implicated in the case.

"Pakistani investigators are yet to complete their report into the 2005 crime that was committed in Britain," he said. "My client is suspected of links to that offence and he wants to be tried in Pakistan as he is a Pakistani citizen."

"His trial should be held in Pakistan," Aabar added. "My client can respond to any questions from British police via video link."