Friday, March 18, 2011

Pakistan furore over American's release

Hundreds protest after CIA contractor, accused of killing two men, is set free and sent back home.

Last Modified: 17 Mar 2011 09:05

Pakistan has witnessed widespread protests a day after Raymond Davis - a CIA contractor accused of killing two Pakistani youths in Lahore - was released and flown out of Pakistan.

Kamal Hyder, Al Jazeera's correspondent reporting from the north western city of Peshawar, on Thursday said many Pakistanis were incensed and described his release as a sell-out.

"Hundreds of students at Peshawar University with banners and slogans expressed their anger. An effigy of Raymond Davis was also burnt after the protest.

"They alleged that Davis was a spy and asked why was he let go?"
More protests are planned later on Thursday.
Blood money.

The CIA contractor was released on Wednesday after the families of the two men he killed were given "blood money" and the case was dropped.
Chaudhry Mushtaq, superintendent at Kot Lakhpat jail, said Davis left the jail with US consulate officials after a court hearing.

However, Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, has denied claims the US paid compensation to secure Davis' release.

Clinton's statement contradicts a lawyer for the victims' families, who said the US paid more than $2mn in so-called ‘blood money’ to free Davis.

The Pakistani government has yet to comment on the issue.

Davis' detention in Pakistan had strained ties between Washington and Islamabad.
While the US insisted he had diplomatic immunity and demanded his repatriation, Pakistani courts ruled in favour of a trial.

Davis shot dead two men in the city of Lahore in January in an act he described as self-defence. He said the men were trying to rob him, a claim yet to be corroborated.

Courtesy :Al Jazeera

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