Lahore Shooting: Pakistan Refuses to Release U.S. Official Accused in Shooting

U.S. demands Raymond Davis, involved in deadly shooting, be freed.

January 27, 2011, 8:04 PM

Feb. 1, 2011 — -- Pakistani officials said today they are refusing to release the American official, identified by the U.S. only as "a diplomat," involved in a deadly shooting in Lahore, Pakistan, despite U.S. demands.

Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik echoed the position of several high level Pakistani officials when he told reporters Tuesday that the case against the American -- identified by Pakistani officials, court documents and a source close to the man in custody as Raymond Davis -- would go before a Pakistani court.

Lahore's High Court asked the Pakistani government today to place Davis on the "exit control list," which would bar him from leaving the country, an official told ABC News.

Without identifying Davis, the U.S. embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, issued a call for the release of "a U.S. diplomat unlawfully detained" over the weekend, stating he was working for the U.S. government in Islamabad in a diplomatic capacity and was carrying a diplomatic passport when he fought off two would-be robbers last week.

"On January 27, the diplomat acted in self-defense when confronted by two armed men on motorcycles," the embassy said in the statement. "The diplomat had every reason to believe that the armed men meant him bodily harm... When detained, the U.S. diplomat identified himself to police as a diplomat and repeatedly requested immunity under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations."

A source close to Davis said he works as a "technical adviser." His military record shows experience in the U.S. Special Forces and, according to public documents, he currently owns Hyperion Protective Consultants, LLC, which provides clients with "loss and risk management professionals."

The two men were killed in the shooting as well as another man who was reportedly struck by a vehicle that was racing to Davis' aid. In addition to not identifying the American official, the State Department has declined to say precisely in what capacity he was working for the government -- beyond as a diplomat -- or why he was apparently armed at the time of the incident.

U.S. Embassy: Working to Secure 'Immediate Release of the Diplomat'

A trial will determine whether the killing was intentional, accidental or in self-defense, Pakistani officials said last week.

"We regret that this incident resulted in loss of life. We greatly value the cooperation and partnership between Pakistan and the United States, which is vital to the interests of both countries," the U.S. Embassy said this weekend. "The U.S. Embassy is committed to working closely with the Pakistani government to secure the immediate release of the diplomat, as required under Pakistani and international law."

The U.S. State Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment on this report.

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