Independent Judiciary in Doubt: Raymond Davis Released
Lahore: Raymond Davis was flown out of Pakistan on Wednesday after being acquitted of two murder charges and released by a Pakistani court, a US official said.
“Davis was released from Pakistani custody and is out of the country. There was no quid pro quo,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
A court freed Davis after blood money was paid in accordance with sharia law, the Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said.
“The family members of the slain men appeared in the court and independently verified they had pardoned him (Davis),” Sanaullah told a private television.
“He has been released from jail. Now it is up to him. He can go wherever he wants,” he added.
Raja Irshad, a lawyer for the families of the two dead men, said a total of 200 million Pakistani rupees (2.35 million dollars) was paid as compensation. That was confirmed by public prosecutor Abdul Samad.
“The family members told the judge that there was no pressure on them to accept the compensation and they had signed the pardon documents voluntarily, independently and with due consideration,” Irshad said.
Police investigator Muneer Ahmed told JAGO NEWS, the deal had been done by “mutual agreement” and the court had received signed family statements before ordering Davis’ release.
Blood money, or “diyya” 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.
The Davis case had sparked protests in Pakistan, with religious groups angrily denouncing the American who claimed he acted in self-defence to fend off an armed robbery when he shot dead the two men.