CIA contractor released from Pakistan

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cquote1.svg When issues arise, it's our standing practice to work through them. That's the sign of a healthy partnership—one that's vital to both countries. Cquote2.svg

—George Little, CIA official

Raymond Davis, a contractor for the CIA, has been released from Pakistan after a ruling by a Pakistani court. He was detained after killing two citizens carrying weapons on January 27, 2011. Davis was freed after agreements to pay "blood money" as compensation for the two lives were handled.

Blood money, defined as compensation paid by a murderer, is required under Islamic law. CIA official George Little said, "When issues arise, it's our standing practice to work through them. That's the sign of a healthy partnership—one that's vital to both countries." John Kerry, a Massachusetts senator, said, "This was a very important and necessary step for both of our countries to be able to maintain our relationship."

After the ruling, a group of protestors demonstrated against the release in Lahore, Pakistan, and the United States government flew Davis out of the country. Asad Manzoor Butt, the attorney for the victims, said that the money was paid after hours of discussion with Americans.

According to a US official, the Justice Department will investigate the incident. Anonymous sources said that Pakistan's government footed the bill, although the United States may be required to pay them back. He reportedly shot the two armed men as they attempted to steal from him in Lahore. Davis was accused of two accounts of murder and carrying unlawful weapons; the trial took place early Wednesday. The presence of international operatives in Pakistan has angered many citizens, resulting in protests around the country in the past weeks.

United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in Cairo, Egypt that the U.S. did not pay the compensation. After being asked by reporters who or what paid the families of the victims, she responded, "The families of the victims pardoned Mr. Davis and we're grateful for their decision."


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