LAHORE: Announcing the findings of their investigation into the Raymond Davis case, Lahore police categorically rejected on Friday the American’s claim that he had killed two motorcyclists at Mozang on Jan 27 in ‘self-defence’.
However, the US Consulate’s Principal Officer Carmela Conroy called for immediate release of the man, insisting that he was entitled to full immunity from criminal prosecution by Pakistan under the Vienna Convention.
The demand came after a judicial magistrate sent Davis to jail on 14-day judicial remand, as requested by police and prosecution officials.
“He has committed a murder as he shot at the fleeing boys,” Lahore police chief Aslam Tareen said at a press conference.
Mr Tareen did not answer questions about the purpose of Davis’s visit to Mozang. He also declined to say anything about the slain motorcyclists’ activities.
“I cannot comment on the diplomatic status of Raymond and the job assigned to him in Pakistan by the American government.”
He also refused to say why did Davis shoot at the motorcyclists when the latter had not aimed guns at him.
Mr Tareen said Davis had told police during interrogation that he was a technical adviser at the American consulate and this was his 10th visit to Pakistan.
The police chief said: “Forensic reports say no fingerprints were found on the triggers of the (motorcyclists’) pistols and the bullets remained in the magazine of their gun, and not in the chamber.” Davis gave no chance to the boys, he said.
“We have proof in the form of eyewitness accounts and forensic reports that it was not a case of self-defence. Rather it was a clear murder,” he said.
Mr Tareen said the investigation team had found a GPS tracker, mobile phones, wireless sets, a survival kit and photographs in Davis’s car.
“The investigation revealed that the motorcyclists did not point guns at Davis as the weapons recovered from them were not loaded.”
Witnesses told police that Davis had directly shot at them and kept shooting even when one of them was running for his life.
Mr Tareen termed it a cold-blooded act and accused Davis of intentionally killing the two men in a public place.
He said police had completed their investigation and submitted a provisional charge-sheet, requesting the court to take action against Davis under Article 302 of the Pakistan Penal Code.
He said the suspects whose car had crushed to death another motorcyclist,Ibadur Rehman, had not been handed over to police.
“The Punjab government has written to the federal government about the Ibadur Rehman case and has also sent reminders,” he said.
Addressing a press conference later, the US consulate’s principal officer claimed that as a member of the administrative and technical staff in her country’s embassy in Islamabad, Davis was entitled to full immunity from criminal prosecution by Pakistan under the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations of 1961.
“All countries, including my country and your country, freely agreed to abide by these rules. Under the rules he should be freed immediately,” Ms Conroy said.She read out an official statement which said: “We understand that eyewitnesses said that Davis had acted in self-defence when confronted with two armed men on a motorcycle.
“We also understand that these men were found with stolen property. We regret that authorities did not consider these eyewitness accounts and physical evidence when they stated that this was not a case of self-defence.”
She said the United States respected the law and Pakistan’s sovereignty, and expected all representatives of its government to respect the laws of the host nation.
“We respect the people of Pakistan and enjoy working and living in this country. Americans and Pakistan can accomplish so much together.”
She said the US and Pakistan both needed to resolve the case immediately and continue their work, including cooperation in education and health, their common fight against extremist violence and building bridges between the people of the twp countries.