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Police Arrest 9-Month-Old Infant on Murder Charges

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babycourt

Police in sometime-U.S. ally Pakistan arrested a nine-month-old infant, along with his family, for an alleged assassination attempt on the cops who raided the family home. The cops went on to charge the infant with assault, claiming he pelted them with stones.

This is not a story from the Onion. The case went to court, where the baby cried throughout the trial as lawyers of both sides argued the case. The baby also was visibly upset as his grandfather was made to hold his thumb to dip it in ink and put its print on the bail bonds, as the tot could not sign the documents himself. At other points, the defendant was quieter, busy suckling on his pacifier and bottle. The perp is pictured above.

The judge judiciously granted interim bail to the accused infant and adjourned the hearing until April 12. At some point a more rational government employee took notice of the case in the local media and intervened, actually punishing the police officers involved and dropping charges against the child.

The child, not yet able to talk, made no comment.

The incident began when police raided the family home to cut off the gas to the house for non-payment. The family patriarch and two older relatives did indeed throw stones at the cops, and attacked them with wooden clubs, causing the police to run for their lives. Under Pakistani law, it is common in such cases to simply charge the entire extended family, men, women, and apparently, children. The cops, in their defense, claim they didn’t bother to find out the extended family included an infant. There was no explanation offered as to why, after learning they had arrested a baby, the charges were not immediately dropped.

The U.S. has given Pakistan over $7.5. billion in aid over the last five years, almost $21 billion since 2002. Among the goals allegedly supported by all that taxpayer money of yours is this one: Promoting effective, accountable, democratic governance; respect for human rights; and well-being.

Additional U.S. goals include “A government that is transparent, responsive to citizens’ needs” and “develop citizens ability to act as partners with government.”

It may be that the U.S. money is not accomplishing its goals. “One of the things we should be doing is training the police, but we’re not doing it. Pakistanis are not letting us. They want the Army to do everything,” says C. Christine Fair, assistant professor at Georgetown University in Washington.

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