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UPDATED: 08:51, February 01, 2007
Pakistan refuses to hand over plane bomb suspect to Britain: report
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Pakistan has refused to hand over to the British authorities a suspect of the alleged plot to bomb British aircraft in August 2006, a senior official said on Wednesday.

"Pakistan has turned down a request from the British authorities to hand over Rashid Rauf," the private Geo TV quoted Interior Secretary Syed Kamal Shah as saying.

Rashid Rauf, a dual citizen of Britain and Pakistan, was arrested in Pakistan in August 2006.

Shah has reportedly said that Rashid Rauf is under trial in Pakistan and can not be handed over to Britain unless the investigations are completed.

In December 2006, the anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi found no evidence that Rauf had been involved in terrorist activities, and his charges were downgraded to forgery and possession of explosives.

Rauf has denied all terror charges in court.

One of Rauf's brothers, Tayib Rauf, was among those arrested in Britain, although he was later released without charges.

U.S. and British officials have reportedly claimed Rashid Rauf had a key operational role in the alleged plot.

In Pakistan, law enforcement authorities continued to interrogate Rashid Rauf over his alleged key role in the plot.

Source: Xinhua

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