CIA Contractor Raymond Davis Sprung from Murder Rap in Pakistan after US Pays 'Blood Money'
By Dave Lindorff
Raymond Davis, the CIA contractor indicted for the murder of two young Pakistani motorcyclists, whom he gunned down in the back in broad daylight through his car windshield in a busy section of Lahore, Pakistan, has been freed, after the payment of $2.34 million in “blood money,” called diyya, to relatives of the two slain men.
The surprise “deal,” which Pakistani news reports are saying appears to have been forced on the relatives of the two men, who up to March 15 had insisted they wanted no blood money, but only justice, was announced in a court session March 16 in Lahore, at which the prosecution’s case of murder was to have been presented.
Both the US Ambassador, who expressed regret for the killings and gratitude to the victims’ families for their “generosity” in asking for the pardon, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton denied that they had paid any blood money for a deal, but that did not mean the CIA didn’t put up the cash. The New York Times (which withheld for two weeks at the behest of the White House information it had that Davis was a CIA contractor, even as it reported the official US lie that he was a "diplomat") is reporting that a "new" counsel" representing the families of Davis's victims, Raja Irshad, is saying the blood money was paid by the Pakistani government, but it, and the Wall Street Journal, are both also reporting that the US is reimbursing Pakistan. A more likely ultimate source of the funds is the CIA, which operates with a “black budget,” free of outside scrutiny.
The integrity of this “deal” is in question, though, with Pakistani media reporting that the two families suspiciously “went missing” several days before the hearing, with some having been seen taken away by unidentified men. They were delivered, also by unidentified men, to the court the day of the hearing, where each was asked by the judge if they pardoned Davis, and if they had received the blood money required under the country’s Sharia Law. Each reportedly applied affirmatively to both questions.
The 19 have subsequently vanished, leading to charges in Pakistan that they were compelled to accept a deal, and have subsequently left the country, fearing retaliation from groups that were demanding that Davis face trial for murder.
Lawyers for the families, who disclosed the size of the payment, say they too were held captive before the trial. “I and my associate were kept in forced detention for hours,” said the attorney for the family of one of the slain men, Faizan Haider.
A cousin of Haider, Aijaz Ahmed, was quoted in the Christian Science Monitor as saying eight members of his immediate family had gone missing since news of the deal.
The Express Tribune, an English-language daily in Pakistan partly owned by the International Herald Tribune,reports that lawyers for the two families claim both families’ members were “forcibly taken to Kot Lahkpat Jail by unidentified men and made to sign papers pardoning Davis.”...
For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF in ThisCantBeHappening!, the new independent online alternative newspaper, please go to: ThisCantBeHappening!