Pakistan hands arrested FBI agent over to US diplomats

By Aamir Latif, Thursday, May 08, 2014

Pakistan hands FBI agent found with firearm ammunition in luggage at airport to US consulate

Pakistan hands FBI agent found with firearm ammunition in luggage at airport to US consulate

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan handed over an FBI agent, arrested for trying to carry firearm ammunition onto a plane, to the U.S. consulate in the southern city of Karachi on Thursday, according an official who wished not to be named. 

Joel Cox was granted bail -- set at 1 million Pakistani Rupees ($10,000) -- earlier Thursday after he was arrested by security at the Karachi airport Monday.

Cox's defense counsel pleaded that he was travelling from Karachi to Islamabad and had "mistakenly" left the bullets and a 9mm pistol magazine in his luggage.

Cox was granted bail despite already being remanded in police custody until May 10 by another court. 

An investigating officer, who wanted to remain anonymous, told the Anadolu Agency that the FBI agent had refused to answer any questions during the investigation, saying only the U.S. embassy could answer their questions.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office confirmed Thursday that a U.S. citizen was detained by airport security and that he was an "FBI official."

Pakistan's Foreign Office spokesperson Tasneem Aslam told reporters during a weekly press briefing that investigations into the incident were underway.

"The U.S. embassy had asked Pakistan for counsellor's access to the accused, which was granted," said Aslam. "Neither is he (Cox) a diplomat, nor does he enjoy diplomatic immunity."

Aslam said U.S. State Department officials were going to Pakistan to discuss the issue with Pakistani authorities.

*Editing by Kaamil Ahmed

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