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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06ISLAMABAD22462 2006-12-14 11:42:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Islamabad
Cable title:  

ANTI-TERRORISM COURT DECLINES JURISDICTION OVER

Tags:   PK PREL PTER UK 
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					  C O N F I D E N T I A L ISLAMABAD 022462 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/14/2016
TAGS: PK PREL PTER UK
SUBJECT: ANTI-TERRORISM COURT DECLINES JURISDICTION OVER
HEATHROW BOMB PLOT SUSPECT, REFERS CASE TO DISTRICT COURT


Classified By: Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker, Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)



1. (U) On December 13, 2006, a judge of the Rawalpindi
Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) dismissed charges under Pakistan's
Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) against 25 year old Rashid Rauf,
who was arrested in August 2006 on charges of planning to
carry explosives (29 bottles of hydrogen peroxide) aboard a
London-bound airliner with the intent of detonating a bomb en
flight. International and local media reports have also
identified Rauf as a key suspect in the aborted plot to place
bombs on airliners departing from London's Heathrow Airport.




2. (U) In an earlier ATC hearing, Rauf's counsel argued
that that Rauf's possession of the hydrogen peroxide was not
prime facie evidence of intent to bomb the airliner;
reserving judgment until the December 13 hearing, the ATC
judge accepted the defendant's arguments and dismissed the
ATA Section 7 charges against Rauf. Citing a lack of
jurisdiction over the remaining charges pending against Rauf
(impersonation, carrying a false identity card, possession of
explosives, etc.), the ATC judge referred the case to the
Rawalpindi District Court for further prosecution. Rauf's
attorney indicated to the press that he expects the initial
hearing before the District Court to take place on December


20.



3. (C) Rauf, a British citizen of Pakistani origin who is
rumored to have links to al Qaeda, will remain in Pakistani
custody pending the District Court. As Rauf has also been
booked under the Security of Pakistan Act, he can be detained
for up to a year (and possibly longer) from his arrest in
August. (Note: Pakistani authorities have told emboffs that
they fully intend to use all authorities granted under the
Security of Pakistan Act to keep Rauf in custody. End note.)
In addition to the charges Rauf faces in Pakistan, the UK
has formally requested his extradition to Britain in
connection with the Heathrow bomb plot, a request currently
under consideration by Pakistani authorities.



4. (SBU) Comment: Despite the hyperbolic claims of Rauf's
attorney that his client has been "acquitted" of terrorism
charges, Rauf must now defend himself against substantially
the same charges in the District Court. Pakistani law
enforcement authorities are committed to pursuing a vigorous
prosecution in this high-profile case, with the Rawalpindi
police chief telling the press that prosecutors intend to
challenge the ATC judge's ruling regarding Rauf's possession
of large quantities of hydrogen peroxide. Rauf will go
nowhere soon, unless it is to the UK.



CROCKER