Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Experts reject (US Senator) Kerry’s claim about Davis

From The News dot com dot pk

By Ahmad Noorani
Wednesday, February 16, 2011

ISLAMABAD: International legal experts rejected Senator John Kerry’s arguments at a news conference on Tuesday night saying no documents presented by any embassy or a government directly to any court in Pakistan carry any weight unless these are ratified and confirmed by the Pakistani authorities.

Under international laws and treaties there is no value of any document that could be presented by the US government in a Pakistani court in support of the arguments that Raymond Davis is a diplomat and enjoys immunity.

Washington cannot go to the international court of justice without Islamabad’s nod and no ‘person’ could be declared as diplomat retrospectively after such a heinous murder to save him from criminal prosection.

Top international law expert Amjad Malik told The News from London a thorough reading of 1961 and 1963 Vienna Conventions proves that not a single article of these conventions supports the point of view that documents could be sent to a host country’s court to prove that some person was a diplomat or not or enjoys immunity.

“Any such document presented by the US government in any court of law without approval of the Pakistani government will have no legal value whatsoever in accordance with local laws, international laws and international treaties,” he said.

According to this convention only the documents of foreign office and a certificate issued by the federal government (issued in light of these foreign office documents) could have any weight in courts and even after submission of such documents or certificate the courts have complete authority to decide the immunity issue.

On a question about US State department’s stated view on Tuesday that local Pakistani courts could not decide the legal position of laws of Vienna Convention, Amjad Malik said that even according to the practice followed in US any decision on immunity of diplomats is given by the US court in accordance with US State department accreditations and diplomatic cards.

He said even according to Vienna Convention the local courts will decide the immunity issue. Amjad said that one thing should be clear that if US wanted to go to International Court of Justice, agreement of Pakistan is a must.

“Without mutual consent of both the states only USA could not invoke international court’s jurisdiction,” he said. He said that it seems that the PPP government in Islamabad is planning to take this issue to Hague so that US could openly use it influence.

He said that as the incident took place in a Pakistani city, the person involved did not enjoy any immunity under Vienna Convention and the same was confirmed by no one less than the foreign minister of the country after going through all the relevant record.

“It is something like ‘might is right’ and an extreme threatening attitude of the world’s sole superpower US which otherwise claims to have respect for rule of law and is now disrespecting Pakistani laws, international laws, international conventions and trying to snub a country which is its ally in war against terror,” Malik said.

While referring to Senator Kerry’s statement that if Raymond is allowed to go to US, he will be tried in America, Malik said this may have been possible only if Raymond was a diplomat.

“See one thing should be clarified that even diplomats who enjoy immunity are exempt from jurisdiction of host country’s courts but did not mean that they enjoy immunity from crime and such a person is always tried for the crime in his own country after being expelled from host state,” Amjad said,

Amjad said that USA should respect international conventions, treaties and local laws of other countries and didn’t try to solve everything by the use of power. Senior analyst Najam Sethi also suggested to the US that it should not talk of immunity of Raymond Davis and should trust Pakistani courts. He suggested in his analysis that USA should plead for self defense in Pakistani courts by accepting supremacy of the courts.

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