U.S. sticks to immunity in Davis case

March 4, 2011 at 1:41 PM

WASHINGTON, March 4 (UPI) -- Washington insists that embassy employee Raymond Davis has diplomatic immunity in Pakistan despite a ruling by a lower court in Lahore, a spokesman said.

A lower court in Pakistan ruled Thursday that Davis, described as assigned to the administrative and technical staff of the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan, doesn't appear to be protected by diplomatic immunity.

The provincial court in Lahore ruled Thursday neither Davis nor the Pakistani government provided documentary evidence that he is a protected diplomat.

Davis is accused of killing two Pakistani men in January. He claims the men were trying to rob him and he shot them in self-defense.

Several media outlets, citing unnamed sources, said Davis was working in Pakistan for the CIA.

P.J. Crowley, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department, said Washington was "concerned" about the ongoing court proceedings in Pakistan. He maintained that, while Washington can't comment on the litigation, the U.S. government feels Davis has "full immunity from criminal prosecution."

Crowley said that informing the Pakistani government that Davis arrived in the country for work at the embassy addressed the question of immunity.

"We did provide a diplomatic note in January 2010 that informed the government of Pakistan of his arrival in country, his assignment to the administrative and technical staff of the U.S. Embassy," he told reporters during his regular press briefing. "And that was notification that he, in fact, has diplomatic immunity."

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