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Detained CIA Contractor Held in Pakistan Released

VOA News March 16, 2011

Pakistani officials say a detained CIA contractor accused of killing two Pakistanis has been freed.

Punjab provincial law minister Rana Sanaullah told reporters Wednesday that Raymond Davis, 36, was first formally indicted on double murder charges in Lahore. However, during the proceedings, relatives of the deceased said they agreed, under Islamic law, to accept monetary compensation in exchange for pardoning Davis.

It is unclear whether or not Davis is still in Pakistan.

Prosecutors had accused the American of shooting and killing two men in the eastern city of Lahore on January 27. Davis maintained that the men were trying to rob him and that he acted in self-defense. The incident was further complicated by the death of a third Pakistani struck by a U.S. diplomatic vehicle rushing to Davis' aid.

The United States had demanded Davis' release, saying he had diplomatic immunity.

The case inflamed anti-American sentiment across Pakistan and increased tensions between the CIA and Pakistan's military spy service, the ISI.

In the wake of Davis' arrest, Pakistani officials demanded that the CIA release the names of all of its agents operating in Pakistan after alleging Davis was working there without Islamabad's knowledge.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.



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