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US diplomat put on ‘blacklist’ over Pakistani motorcyclist’s death

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Islamabad : Pakistan’s Interior Ministry on Tuesday placed US diplomat Colonel Joseph Emmanuel Hall on the “blacklist” for killing a motorcyclist in a road accident here, prohibiting the US defence and air attache from leaving the country.

Hall was driving a Land Cruiser and jumped a red signal on April 7 near Islamabad’s Daman-e-Koh Chowk, hitting a motorcycle carrying two men. The riders suffered injuries and later one of them — Atiq Baig — died.

The ministry’s announcement came during a hearing at Islamabad High Court on a petition filed by the father of deceased, the Express Tribune reported.

Representing the government, Deputy Attorney General Raja Khalid Mehmood informed the court that the Interior Ministry had placed the US official’s name in the “blacklist” instead of putting him in the Exit Control List (ECL) as it was a long process.

Mehmood said the “blacklist”, which served the same purpose, was a simpler process where the Interior Secretary was the competent authority to take the decisive step.

Speaking to the daily, Mehmood said if required the US envoy’s name will be added to the ECL as well.

He said since the Vienna Convention granted diplomatic immunity to the US envoy, authorities in Pakistan could not arrest, detain or prosecute him. But he could be investigated.

Mehmood added that if the US decides to take up the case, Hall could stand trial and/or court martial in his home country. However, if the diplomatic immunity is recalled by the US, the envoy can be prosecuted in Pakistan.(Agencies)

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