Diplomat involved in Islamabad accident leaves Pakistan, confirms US embassy

ISLAMABAD: Military Attache Col Joseph Emanuel Hall left for the United States, the US Embassy confirmed.

On April 7, Colonel Joseph Emanuel Hall ran a red light and rammed into a motorcycle killing a Pakistani civilian. He was let go by police officials in Islamabad after the accident as the law — Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961 — provided the diplomat immunity from criminal prosecution.

According to official, the local police had handed over all record related to Colonel Hall to US officials.

Hall is a certified envoy who enjoys diplomatic immunity, the sources added. Pakistan’s criminal, civil, and administrative laws are not applicable to the US envoy.

The US government had decided against withdrawing Hall’s diplomatic immunity, said sources.

Earlier on Saturday, a United Airforce C130 airplane had returned from the Nur Khan Airbase in Rawalpindi without the diplomat as the Interior Ministry refused to issue him a No Objection Certificate (NOC), official had informed media.
The Islamabad High Court on May 11, on a petition filed by the deceased’s father, had ruled that the US diplomat does not have absolute immunity in the country.
The court had also granted two weeks to the Ministry of Interior Affairs to decide over placing his name on the Exit Control List (ECL).
A security official, part of Colonel Hall’s security detail, had been arrested on the orders of AIG Islamabad for obstructing a police officer from performing his duty, a source had said.
Arrest orders had also been issued for all other officials involved in helping Colonel Joseph flee from the police station, the source had further said.