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Times Square bombing: Pakistani man freed from jail

A Pakistani man, arrested on immigration charges here during investigation into the failed Times Square bombing, has been freed from jail and is now seeking legal residency in the US.

world Updated: Aug 12, 2010 12:38 IST

A Pakistani man, arrested on immigration charges in Boston during investigation into the failed Times Square bombing, has been freed from jail and is now seeking legal residency in the US.

Pir D Khan has been allowed to stay free on bail for at least the next two months.

"The government does not believe Khan has any ties to Faisal Shahzad charged in the case," Boston Globe quoted his attorney Saher Macarius as saying.

Khan was arrested on civil immigration charges in May but suddenly released by federal officials on July 29.

"I'm sure the government would not make a hasty decision to release him unless he had nothing to do with the Times Square bombing," Macarius said.

"Khan has nothing to do with the Times Square bombing."

Khan, who appeared in US Immigration Court with his American wife Rebecca May Barry yon Wednesday, is due back in court on October 14.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement attorney Richard Neville however said the government now wants to deport Khan, who has admitted to entering the United States illegally in 1991.

Khan and his cousin Aftab Ali Khan, 27, and Mohammad Shafiq Rahman, a 33-year-old computer programmer were arrested on May 13 during raids as part of investigation into the Times Square boming attempt.

None of the three face criminal charges but were held on immigration violations.

Government officials had said they might have handled informal money transfers for Shahzad, who pleaded guilty in June to attempting the Times Square attack on May 1.

In a separate hearing, Immigration Judge Matthew D'Angelo said Khan should not conclude that his "struggle to stay in the US was over".

Under federal law, Khan has to prove he should be allowed legal residency in the US despite having arrived illegally.

"I don't want you to take this case less seriously because the government has exercised its discretion to release you," D'Angelo said.

Khan's attorney said he will argue that Khan should be allowed to stay in the US since he hasn't been arrested for any crime ever since he has been living in the US.

"I am sure he will try to get back to his normal life with his wife," Macarius said.

"He deserves to stay in the country." Khan, who has both owned a taxi and worked as a taxi driver in the Greater Boston area over the past several years, told the Globe his doesn't know yet if he would resume working as a cabbie.