FIA bars USA diplomat from leaving Pakistan

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The United States (US) sent a special aircraft on Saturday to bring back its Defence and Air Attache Col Joseph Emmanuel Hall, who had crushed a biker to death in Islamabad, however, the Pakistani government barred the American diplomat from leaving the country.

According to ARY's Islamabad bureau chief Sabir Shakir, a special aircraft landed at the Nur Khan Airbase to take with them Col. Emanuel.

The latest blow to relations came on Saturday, when Pakistani authorities banned a U.S. military attache from leaving as planned, Pakistan's The Nation and Express Tribune newspapers reported.

However, according to the correspondent, the FIA team is awaiting orders from the top authorities to released the U.S. official.


US Military Attache Col Joseph Emanuel Hall rammed his SUV into a motorcycle in Islamabad last month, killer the rider. However, a first information report (FIR) of the incident was registered with Kohsar Police Station.

The move came a day after a court in Islamabad ruled that diplomatic immunity may not apply in the April 7 accident that killed a 22-year-old motorcyclist in the capital, Pakistan's The Nation and Express Tribune newspapers reported.

He was reportedly sloshed while driving the white Land Cruiser that hit three motorcyclists at a traffic signal.

The US diplomat was let go by police officials in Islamabad after the accident as the law - Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961 - provided the diplomat immunity from criminal prosecution.


Diplomatic immunity is not meant to serve as a licence for persons to flout the law and purposely avoid liability for their actions, he contended.

On April 24, the interior ministry had informed the court that in order to restrict the movement of Col Hall, his name had been placed on the blacklist of the directorate of immigration.

A spokeswoman for the State Department confirmed the travel restrictions on Pakistani and American diplomats to the news service, but would not comment on Hall's situation.

The two sides also imposed travel restrictions on each others' diplomats stationed in Washington and Islamabad earlier this week putting further strain on already frosty relations between the two sides.


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