US diplomat blacklisted after hit and run of Islamabad motorist

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US diplomat placed on ‘blacklist’ for killing Islamabad motorcyclist

The Ministry of Interior on Tuesday placed the name of US diplomat Colonel Joseph Emmanuel Hall on the blacklist, prohibiting the US defence and air attache from leaving the country.

The revelation came during a hearing at Islamabad High Court (IHC)  after a petition was filed by the father of the deceased.

Representing government, Deputy Attorney General Raja Khalid Mehmood informed the court that the interior ministry had placed the US official’s name in the “black list”.

Explaining the term, he said his name was not added to the Exit Control List (ECL) as it was a lengthy process while the black list serves the same purpose but is a simpler process where the Secretary of Interior is competent authority to take the decisive step. Speaking to The Express Tribune, Mehmood said if required the suspect’s name will be added to the ECL.

During the hearing, Mehmood said since the Vienna Convention granted Joseph diplomatic immunity, authorities in Pakistan could not arrest, detain or prosecute him. However, the suspect could be investigated. He added that if the US decides to take up the case, the suspect could stand trial and/ or court martial in his home country. However, if the diplomatic immunity is recalled by the Americans, Joseph can be prosecuted in Pakistan.

Case history

A fast-moving Land Cruiser, driven by Col Hall, jumped a red light and hit a motorcycle carrying two men at the intersection of Margalla Road and 7th Avenue in Islamabad earlier in April. One of the men, Ateeq Mir, died on the spot while the other, Raheel Ahmed, got injured.

The victim’s father, Muhammad Idrees, filed a petition in the IHC seeking different directions for the respondents. A security guard at the Islamabad Model College for Girls in Saidpur, Idrees is also the complainant in FIR No 168/2018 against the American diplomat at the Kohsar police station.

The petitioner had requested the court to direct the IGP, the chief commissioner and the SHO to ensure that fair and transparent investigation is conducted with regard to the allegations in the FIR to arrest the accused person unless they are satisfied that the arrest is not necessary.

By Rizwan Shehzad

tribune.com.pk

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