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Pakistani court moved against release of CIA contractor

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, March 17, IRNA -- A petition, against the release of CIA contractor facing double murder charges, was moved in a Pakistani court on Thursday, lawyers said.

Raymond Davis shot dead tow Pakistanis in the city of Lahore on January 27 and a court framed formal murder charges against him on Wednesday.

But the court later acquitted him after 18 members of the slain men told the court they have accepted blood money and have pardoned the U.S. employee.

Lawyers and some members of the families said they were forced to sign the compensation deal. The release has caused widespread protest and opposition groups say that the government has facilitated the deal.

A senior Pakistani lawyer Iqbal Jaffry Thursday moved an application in the Lahore High Court against the Davis release and said the release was against the Islamic and Pakistani laws. He said widow of one of the slain men had refused to strike the blood money deal.

Meanwhile, lawyers on Thursday boycotted courts in Punjab province and requested the Chief Justice to hold inquiry into the whole matter.

Defence lawyer of the families of slain men, Manzoor Butt, says that his clients were forcibly taken away from their houses and forced to strike the deal. He also said that he was not allowed to meet his clients when the court ordered release of the CIA agent.

Opposition parities and civil society groups also planned protest across Pakistan on Thursday and Friday.

The government of President Asif Ali Zardari is under pressure to tell the nation about the mystery surrounding the blood money deal.

There are also reports that Saudi Arabia also played role in the compensation deal and a spokesman for the opposition Muslim League-N group, Siddiqul Farooq, says that family members of the slain men were invited by the Saudi government for minor pilgrimage.

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