Home > arrested, innocent, Pakistani Chile, Saif > Case will be dropped (iA)

Case will be dropped (iA)

Chile terror lawyer predicts case will be dropped

By MICHAEL WARREN (AP) – 1 hour ago (May 14th, 9:30 Pm Chilean time)

SANTIAGO, Chile — Chilean prosecutors will have to show a judge on Saturday what evidence they have against a Pakistani detained after the U.S. Embassy said it found traces of an explosives substance on his documents and cell phone.

The evidence hearing was ordered moved up from Sunday after a magistrate held a closed session Friday during which the public defender for Mohammed Saif ur Rehman Khan accused the government of violating his legal rights by interrogating him without a lawyer in a language he didn’t fully understand.

Speaking with journalists after the hearing, public defender Gabriel Carrion said he also told the magistrate that nothing he had seen supported a terrorism case against Khan and argued that tests for the chemical allegedly found on Khan’s possessions are notorious for creating false readings.

“This could affect anybody who lives in a city as contaminated as ours,” said Carrion, who hopes to gain Khan’s release for lack of evidence.

Police said they found more traces of the material — described as tetryl, a chemical used to boost the power of explosives — on clothes seized from Khan’s apartment, Chile’s state television reported.

Investigators also were looking for five more people known to Khan for questioning, the report said.

The government on Friday asked a judge to charge Khan with illicit terrorist association as well as explosives violations.

Prosecutor Xavier Armendariz wouldn’t comment on the defender’s complaints about rights violations, but said Khan’s continued detention under Chile’s anti-terrorism laws was merited because “the circumstances are without a doubt extraordinary.”

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said that the U.S. government is cooperating fully with the Chilean investigation of Khan and that “there were solid grounds for apprehending him.”

Khan, 28, who came to Chile in January to study Spanish and work in the hotel industry, was summoned to the U.S. Embassy on Monday to be told that his U.S. visa had been revoked, diplomats have said.

A website apparently set up by Khan’s brother, a doctoral student at Michigan State University, calls him an intelligent, educated man who has never been accused of any wrongdoing.

It links to a brief video by Pakistani news channel Samaa in which Khan declares his innocence and suggests he is being framed.

“I think there is someone behind me who is doing this,” Khan said, speaking in English.

Khan’s parents proclaimed his innocence in a video on the website of the Chilean newspaper La Tercera. “He hated terrorism and terrorists, all those who plant bombs,” said his father, Mehmood Ahmad Rehman Khan. “He believed that people can change with words, and it’s not necessary to kill to get someone to change.”

The father speculated any explosives substance detected on Khan must have come from someone with powder on their hands touching his clothes.

Carrion said the substance could have come from anywhere, and cited the case of the Birmingham Six — members of the Irish Republican Army whose long prison terms for a pub bombing in England were finally overturned, he said, because it was determined that the tests for explosives were unreliable.

Khan’s detention is apparently not connected to the attempted car bombing in New York’s Times Square by a Pakistan-born U.S. citizen, the State Department has said.

The Pakistani Embassy is providing legal and consular support for Khan, and speaking out in his defense. “He would have to be a very bad terrorist to enter the embassy with traces of explosive material,” Ambassador Burhanul Islam said.

Associated Press Writer Federico Quilodran contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

  1. Hirose
    May 15, 2010 at 11:48 am

    i have full faith in God that he will do away with this grave injustice! our prayers are with you Saif. just hang in there!

  2. thasin
    May 15, 2010 at 1:47 am

    “He was a complete gentleman, very proper, like the gentlemen of old,” said Alex Garcia, head of reception and reservations of the hotel where he was doing his internship in Hospitality

  3. Camilo
    May 15, 2010 at 12:31 am

    El gobierno de chile, a través de las presiones Estadounidenses está inculpando a Saif de manera injusta y mediática. Hay que investigar las ilegalidades de la detención, la orden de entrada y registro a la hostal donde vivía y el delito que se le imputa. Es vergonzoso, como chileno, que ocurran este tipo de hechos en esta sociedad y en este estado de derecho.

  4. Henry Venegas
    May 15, 2010 at 12:23 am




  5. thasin
    May 14, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    I echo your sentiment Mahmood

  6. Mahmood
    May 14, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    I trust God and I trust the justice system. I hope and pray the case gets dropped and Saif is proven innocent, for he is INNOCENT.
    Our support is with Saif’s family at this difficult time.

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