Raymond Davis released by Pakistani court
Islamabad/Washington, March 16 (IANS) A Pakistani court Wednesday acquitted CIA contractor Raymond Davis, who killed two men in Lahore, after payment of blood money as compensation to relatives of the victims, Geo News reported. He is reported to have been flown out of the country.
A US Air Force plane carrying 12 men, perhaps including Davis, took off at 4.45 p.m. from Lahore airport for Afghanistan, sources told Geo News.
An additional sessions judge released Raymond Davis after the family members of the slain men appeared in the court and pardoned the US national after an agreement was reached between the two sides, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said.
'He has been released from jail and now it is up to him to leave the country whenever he wants,' the minister added.
Blood money, or 'Diyat' is a provision under Islamic Sharia law in which compensation can be paid to relatives of those killed to secure a pardon, and is commonly used to resolve such cases in Pakistan.
Reports said that Raymond Davis was airlifted out of Pakistan in a special American air force plane shortly after the court acquitted him.
Opposition political groups staged rallies in main cities and condemned the release of the CIA agent.
Police used batons to disperse dozens of angry people in Lahore, injuring several demonstrators, including women. The police arrested several protestors. Demonstrators also pelted stones at the police.
Demonstrations were also held in Karachi, Islamabad, Rawalpindi and several other cities and the demonstrators condemned the release of CIA contractor. The demonstrators claimed that the government had forced family members of the slain men to sign the compensation deal.
I would not doubt that claim