BBC : Pakistan escape policemen charged

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Pakistan escape policemen charged

December 17, 2007

Pakistan police say two police guards who were accused of negligence over the escape of Briton Rashid Rauf have now been charged with helping him get away.

Two uncles of Mr Rauf have also been detained for questioning, say police.

He escaped over the weekend while visiting an Islamabad mosque on his way back to jail from a court hearing.

Terror charges against him in Pakistan were dropped last month, but the UK wants him extradited in connection with another case, the death of his uncle.

It is also understood that British police want to question him in connection with an alleged plot to blow up transatlantic jets from the UK.

The BBC's Barbara Plett in Islamabad says that Mr Rauf's lawyer said his client's escape was mysterious, suggesting Pakistani authorities may have been reluctant to hand him over to Britain.

Pakistani officials say they have launched a major investigation and are combing the country for him.

His arrest in Pakistan in August 2006 prompted a major security alert at airports worldwide.

Mr Rauf, who is in his mid-20s, is from Birmingham in the UK.