(AFP) – Dec 20, 2007
ISLAMABAD (AFP) — A government inquiry into the escape of a British terror plot suspect who escaped in Pakistan has determined his police escorts helped him flee, a local newspaper reported.
The Dawn newspaper said the probe had found "criminal collusion" in the escape of Rashid Rauf, who disappeared last Saturday while in police custody after an appearance in an Islamabad court.
It said the report into the incident, due to be formally handed to the government later in the day, also blamed Islamabad police officials for not taking extra measures to secure a man known to be a "dangerous person."
The two police officers who escorted him, who have since been formally charged, went with Rauf and his uncle to a fast-food restaurant and a mosque while they were taking him back to jail. At some point, he disappeared.
The paper said that on previous court hearings, the same two police escorts had illegally let Rauf visit his uncle's home.
Rauf was arrested in 2006 and is suspected in an alleged plot to blow up trans-Atlantic airliners with liquid explosives. Reports of the plot led airlines to limit the amount of liquids passengers may carry on board.
Britain has been seeking the extradition of Rauf in a 2002 murder case unrelated to the alleged plane plot.
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf is a key ally in the US-led "war on terror" but critics say the country could do more to cooperate in tracking and detaining militant suspects.
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