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Pervez nephew detained in US

Washington, March 8 (Reuters): The nephew of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf was released yesterday by US immigration officials after being held for 16 days for violating his visa.

Aamir Javed Musharraf’s six-month visa was issued in 1994.

Musharraf was detained on February 19 when he went to register at an immigration office in Memphis, Tennessee. He was required to register under an anti-terrorism programme that targets male citizens of a number of countries including Pakistan.

“He reported ... on February 19 as required by law and he was detained because he had overstayed his visa,” said Bill Strassberger, spokesman for the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Musharraf was released yesterday but his case is still being decided. He could be deported back to Pakistan or allowed to stay in the US.

He was one of about 1,745 foreigners in the US who were detained after registering under the anti-terrorism programme. The length of Musharraf’s detention — 16 days — is about average, Strassberger said.

As of March 4, 122,510 people had registered under the controversial programme that has been criticised for unfairly targeting West Asian men.

The programme requires the visitors to be fingerprinted and photographed when they enter the US.

Lawyers sentenced

In one of the biggest green card, visa fraud cases in US history, two lawyers have been sentenced to serve prison terms ranging from eight to 10 years for fleecing hundreds of immigrants, including Indians.

Judge Leonie M. Brinkema yesterday sentenced Arlington, Virginia, lawyer Samuel G. Kooritzky to 10 years in prison and ordered him to forfeit $2.3 million used in compensation for the “massive labour fraud scheme.” Kooritzsky’s associate, Ronald W. Bogardus, who earlier pleaded guilty and cooperated with prosecutors, was sentenced to 8 years in jail imprisonment.

The two were accused of repeatedly filing false certificates with the us department of labour to help hundreds of immigrants get permanent resident visas, or green cards.

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