Thursday, 3 March 2011

Court rejects Davis’s plea for immunity; trial to go ahead

Court rejects Davis’s plea for immunity; trial to go ahead

raymond-davisA sessions court rejected on Thursday US citizen Raymond Davis’s claim that he enjoyed diplomatic immunity and decided to go ahead with his trial. Additional District and Sessions Judge Mohammad Youssuf Aujla, who is hearing the double murder case against Mr Davis in Kot Lakhpat jail, rejected his plea to postpone the trial till a decision on the immunity issue.
“As the accused has not appended required documents with his earlier application, his plea for immunity is rejected,” Asad Manzoor Butt, counsel for the complainants, quoted the judge as having said.
Talking to Dawn, defence counsel Justice (retd) Zahid Hussain Bukhari said he argued that since the immunity issue had yet to be settled, the court should stop its proceedings till then.

“I also told the court since various petitions relating to Davis’s immunity are being heard by the Lahore High Court, trying the accused right now will be a wastage of time,” Mr Bukhari said.

He said the court, however, rejected his plea saying it had not received any stay order from the superior court.

He recalled that on the last hearing on Feb 25, the accused had himself submitted an application to the court claiming he enjoyed immunity.

Then the court ordered him to engage a lawyer to argue his application in the presence of counsel for complainants on the next hearing (March 3).

Mr Bukhari said he also requested the court to order the prosecution to provide necessary documents relating to challan of the case. “The court accepted the request and instructed the prosecutors to do so,” he added. The court adjourned the hearing till March 8.

Talking about another case registered against Raymond Davis on Jan 28 under Sections 13/20/65 of Arms Act, he said he took the same plea before the judicial magistrate to stop trial of the accused till a decision on the issue of immunity and ensure provision of legal documents pertaining to challan.

“The judge, however, rejected our plea and instructed the prosecution to provide challan papers to us, extending judicial remand of the accused for 12 days till March 15,” he said.

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