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Diplomatic immunity doesn't allow killing citizens, IHC observes.

Byline: Rizwan Shehzad

ISLAMABAD -- The Islamabad High Court (IHC), hearing the petition filed to place Colonel Joseph's name on the Exit Control List (ECL), observed that diplomatic immunity does not allow the killing of a host country's citizens.

The diplomat, defence and air attache at the US embassy, had jumped a red light in the federal capital and crashed into two motorcyclists, killing one and injuring the other.

Justice Amir Farooq heard the petition and remarked that the police also did not conduct a blood test of the diplomat.

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'The law promises similar security for citizens and diplomats,' said the judge. The court further asked the SHO, who took the statement, the reason behind recording the diplomat's statement in Urdu and said the diplomat might retract his statement as he does not know the language.

'Why have you written the statement in Urdu? The diplomat might retract from the statement saying he doesn't know the language it's penned in,' the court asked the SHO.

Police officials and representatives from the foreign and interior ministries were present during the hearing.

The police officer responded by saying that while the statements were given in English, they were written in Urdu. Just try to act as Pakistanis, the court advised the police, do not try to manipulate the facts of the case.

The court further ordered the police to submit a report stating the accused's classification till Tuesday. 'There is already a committee that places names on ECL, send the case to the committee and a report should be submitted for that,' the deputy attorney general stated.

Expressing lack of confidence over the workings of the committee, the judge said not to rely on the committee and the accused might leave the country before his name is added on ECL.

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The police also confirmed that the status of the diplomat has been verified by the interior ministry. The diplomat was taken into investigation and also considered as arrested, the police report stated. 'What do you mean by 'considered as arrested,' the court questioned and remarked that the police are nervous in dealing with those who have foreign nationalities.

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Publication:The Express Tribune (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:Apr 18, 2018
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