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He was caught stealing designs from a Dutch uranium plant. Former Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers in a radio programme says the CIA saved Khan from going to prison.
Mr. Lubbers, who was Minister of Economic Affairs at the time, told a Dutch radio station on Tuesday that because of pressure from the CIA no action was taken against Dr. Khan and he was quietly allowed to return to Pakistan.
According to Mr. Lubbers, Dr. Khan was banned from entering Urenco and the matter was reported to the police but, surprisingly, the case was dropped and he was allowed to leave the country. He said he learnt later that the CIA told the Dutch authorities not to arrest him as they wanted to follow him in order to find out more about his activities relating to Pakistan's secret nuclear programme.