Court Frees CIA Contractor Accused Of Murder: Rana Sanaullah

A Pakistan court on Wednesday freed CIA contractor Raymond Davis, who was accused of murdering two men in Lahore, after blood money was paid in accordance with sharia law, the Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said.

Mohammad Wasim (C), the brother of Mohammad Fahim, one of the victims shot dead by a CIA contractor Raymond Davis, leaves with lawyers outside the High court building after a hearing in Lahore on March 14, 2011. A Pakistan High Court due to rule on a claim of diplomatic immunity by a US gunman working for the CIA on March 14 moved the decision to a lower court that has already ruled the trial should proceed. American Raymond Davis has claimed he acted in self-defence when he shot dead two men in a busy Lahore street in January and US authorities have urged his release on grounds of diplomatic immunity.

“The family members of the slain men appeared in the court and independently verified they had pardoned him (Davis),” provincial law minister Rana Sanaullah told a private television.

“He has been released from jail. Now it is up to him. He can go wherever he wants,” he added.

The lawyer representing the victims, Asad Manzoor Butt, said he was not allowed to appear for the hearing. The lawyer alleged that Davis possibly escaped from the prison with the consent of the authorities, DawnNews reported.

The lawyer further claimed that he was  kept in unlawful confinement, according to DawnNews.

PML-N spokesman Pervez Rasheed the Punjab government was not involved in the release of Davis, DawnNews reported.

Moreover, Ayesha, the sister of Shumaila Kanwal, the wife of victim Faheem Ahmed, said “we are not aware of any such settlement and we did not opt for any…we want justice.”

The January shooting sparked a diplomatic row with the United States, who persistently claimed Davis was an embassy employee and enjoyed diplomatic immunity, particularly after it emerged he was working for the CIA.