US official involved in fatal crash paid ‘blood money’ to leave Pakistan: Reports

On April 7, Col Joseph Emanuel Hall’s SUV jumped a red light and rammed into a motorcycle, killing 22-year-old Ateeq Baig. Hall was let go by police after the accident as he had diplomatic immunity.

Islamabad, May 16:

An American defence attaché involved in a fatal road accident in Islamabad was allowed to leave Pakistan after the US embassy concluded a ‘diyat’ or blood money deal with the victim’s family, according to media reports on Tuesday.

The family of the man who died when his motorcycle was hit by the US diplomat’s SUV will be paid blood money in exchange for not pursuing the matter in court, the Urdu daily Jang quoted its sources as saying.

The amount will be paid by the US embassy. However, the exact amount and when it will be paid was not known, the report said.

The Express Tribune too reported on its website that the US military attaché, Col Joseph Emanuel Hall, was allowed to leave Pakistan on a special flight on Monday after a settlement was reached.

On April 7, Hall’s SUV jumped a red light and rammed into a motorcycle, killing 22-year-old Ateeq Baig. He was let go by police after the accident as he had diplomatic immunity.

Arsalan Khan, a cousin of Baig, confirmed a settlement had been reached and differences had been resolved, The Express Tribune reported. Khan refused to speak on the issue of payment of blood money.

Under Pakistan’s qisas (retribution) and diyat (blood money) law, persons accused of killing someone can escape punishment if they are forgiven by the victim’s kin after the payment of blood money. The law, passed in 1990, was used in the case of Raymond Davis, a CIA contractor who shot two men dead in Lahore in 2011.

The killings triggered a diplomatic row that was resolved when Davis was pardoned in return for a payment of $2.4 million.

In Hall’s case, the agreement was reached several days before he was allowed to leave Pakistan but the details were kept secret, the media reports said. Pakistan had accepted the US viewpoint that Hall had complete diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention.

Courtesy: Hindustan Times

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