U.S. Pays Blood Money, Pakistan Frees CIA Contractor

CIA contractor Ray Davis, accusing of shooting and killing 2 Pakistanis, has been released from jail. The U.S. paid the victims' families $2 plus million in "blood money." Davis is on a flight back to the U.S. More from Bloomberg News here.

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    Sharia? (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Stellaaa on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 05:59:42 PM EST
    Blood money is under Sharia Law.  Watch the right wing go into death spiral spin.  

    Did the administration succumb to Shara law?  

    Hey wait a minute! (2.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Gerald USN Ret on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 06:00:40 PM EST
    I thought the guy was covered under "Diplomatic Immunity."  In fact,

    Some doubt (none / 0) (#23)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 06:07:42 PM EST
    From CNN:

    But a high court in Pakistan refused Monday to decide whether the CIA contractor has diplomatic immunity, sending the case back to a lower court, the official Associated Press of Pakistan reported.

    The lower court had already ruled that Davis does not enjoy protected diplomatic status because neither he nor the Pakistani government has provided documents proving that he does.

    U.S. officials originally said Davis was a diplomat and later revealed that he is a CIA contractor, intensifying the already highly charged situation.

    All indications are he had DI. (2.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Gerald USN Ret on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 08:47:40 PM EST
    jbindc I have heard personally that Mr Davis had DI but unfortunately for Mr Davis, the situation became a political non-winner, however I know that doesn't prove anything here, so from the usual suspect authorities--


    "Pakistani and American officials said Wednesday that they were particularly eager to resolve the case before the Lahore High Court could rule on whether Mr. Davis should be granted diplomatic immunity -- a protection that American officials insisted he was entitled to. A ruling against Mr. Davis, American officials said, could have set a precedent for other countries to deny C.I.A. operatives diplomatic protections."


    It's probably best we don't (3.50 / 2) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 09:47:57 PM EST
    get into the larger details of exactly who is/was to us and what he was doing :)

    How did I know without looking (none / 0) (#1)
    by waldenpond on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 01:34:24 PM EST
    This was Clinton's toy right?

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton denied the U.S. had made any payments, but she didn't dispute that the men's families were compensated.

    Ick, smarmy.

    Perhaps it is covered under some sort of (none / 0) (#2)
    by ruffian on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 01:46:17 PM EST
    insurance policy? I sound like I'm joking, but it would not surprise me if the CIA gets insured for such things.

    Yes, we see this (none / 0) (#3)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 02:02:38 PM EST
    as "ick."  But it's not uncommon for countries living under Shari'a law (as Pakistan does) to allow the payment of diyya (compensation paid to the family of one killed, or "blood money"), in lieu of execution.  Link.  I certainly don't like it, and I wish that the contractor would face some kind of punishment or consequences here, but that is their custom.

    Innocent until proven guilty? (none / 0) (#4)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 02:13:41 PM EST
    From you? (none / 0) (#5)
    by waldenpond on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 02:34:01 PM EST
    ok that made me laugh.  :)

    I'm still chuckling.....


    Pointing out the hypocrisy (none / 0) (#7)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 02:35:46 PM EST
    Drug dealers and murders - innocent until proven guilty.

    DEA agents, CIA, police officers, etc. - always guilty.


    He's been found (none / 0) (#11)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 03:14:16 PM EST
    guilty, or at least responsible in some way, under Pakistani law or he would not have had to pay diyya (or had someone pay diyya for him).  Not that I necessarily trust Pakistani law.  But I would like to see him tried here, for something, if this is possible under our laws.  (Although I wonder if this would make for a case of double jeopardy?  This is assuming our courts would recognize Pakistani law, which I would tend to doubt, but I'm not an international lawyer.)  

    No, he wasn't (none / 0) (#12)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 03:21:34 PM EST
    He was arraigned and then forgiven by the families - hence the payment

    At a hearing of the Lahore Sessions Court convened for security reasons at the Kot Lakhpat Jail today, CIA contractor Raymond A. Davis was arraigned on double homicide charges and then quickly acquitted and released. Attorneys for Davis and the victims' families announced that they had entered into an agreement in which Davis offered compensation to the families -- $1.4 million total -- and they forgave him. Davis was then released into the custody of U.S. consular officials, who accompanied him at the hearing. According to the U.S. Consulate General in Lahore, he is leaving for London on a special flight later in the day.  

    Punjab's law minister, Rana Sanaullah, denied that his government had played any role in brokering the arrangement. Lawyers associated with the matter suggested that the provincial government had orchestrated the settlement, some arguing to the Pakistani press that the families had been pressured by the government to accept the offer. In any event, the Pakistani government's eagerness to be done with the case was signaled by another factor: Notwithstanding the dismissal of the homicide charges as a result of the reconciliation with the victims' families, Davis could still have been prosecuted on a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm, a charge which was entirely in the control of the government. And that charge was dropped to allow Davis to go free.

    According to U.S. ambassador Cameron Munter, Davis's troubles have not ended: The U.S. Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into the events of Jan. 27, though whether U.S. courts have jurisdiction over CIA contractors such as Davis operating in the field is unclear.  

    It's also unknown what accommodations have been reached between the CIA and the Pakistani Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) over on-going intelligence operations in Pakistan, which, as FP reported in this story last week, were the crucial backdrop to the Davis case. However, late last week an important Pakistani general stated that the drone campaign had led to important successes in the Waziristan region. This statement was widely taken as a signal that the talks between the CIA and ISI were moving in a positive direction.

    Now mind you - I think this story sounds shady aas all heck.  But I am amused (and not directed at you personally, Zorba) about how quickly folks around here are ready to scream "Guilty" when it involves a cope or CIA or DEA or FBI member, but if it involves the precious topic of drugs, or alcohol, or robbery or whatever, it's always "wait for the facts!"

    Just interesting that, as all humans do, we all only see the world through our own perceptions and biases.


    The way I understand it, (none / 0) (#13)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 03:29:34 PM EST
    If the accused is forgiven by the family (with the understanding that diyya will be paid), the courts acquit him.  It becomes a personal matter between the accused and the family/families.  I do wonder if he has broken any American laws, since he was under contract to us at the time.  Even if he has, I sincerely doubt that he will be charged with anything.  I don't think any of the contractors in Iraq who were accused of perpetrating killings not in the legitimate line of duty were ever charged with anything, although I could be wrong.

    More from the article (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 03:43:22 PM EST
    Nevertheless, there are several paths that could lead to Davis being turned back over to U.S. custody. One would be providing full compensation to the families of the three deceased men on Davis's behalf. Under Pakistani law, if the perpetrator of injury achieves reconciliation with the survivors of the victim, this is a factor that prosecutors may legitimately take into account in deciding whether to bring or continue to prosecute criminal charges. Given that Davis was, as the United States contends, acting within the scope of his duties for the government when he shot and killed Haider and Shamshad, the United States should make the payment on Davis's behalf. A substantial cash settlement would probably go a long way toward relieving pressure for a trial, and it could give prosecutors an opening to reconsider their decision to bring charges. U.S. diplomats may be concerned about the appearance that the United States is "buying" Davis's freedom with a big cash payment or that the payment is insultingly small -- public relations problems that have arisen in the past -- but that probably can't be avoided.

    So, according to this, it doesn't look like the prosecutor even brings charges if the defendant is "forgiven" and the family is paid off.  Seems like it's backwards from the way we do it here.

    And if you saw this:

    According to U.S. ambassador Cameron Munter, Davis's troubles have not ended: The U.S. Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into the events of Jan. 27, though whether U.S. courts have jurisdiction over CIA contractors such as Davis operating in the field is unclear.

    It looks like the US government would want to go after him, if they can.

    SoS Clinton said this:

    "The United States did not pay any compensation." Asked who did, she replied: "You will have to ask the families."

    Now, pols lie all the time, but since she is a person who has up close and personal familiarity with someone who looked straight at a camera and maked a definitive and declarative statement that turned out to be a lie, I think she would know better than to make the same mistake. I could be wrong.


    I'm in the 'mind you' camp too.... (none / 0) (#16)
    by ruffian on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 03:47:23 PM EST
    don't want to seem like a sharia law advocate. I just think this case brings up all kinds of interesting issues - some of them amusing and reflective of human nature, as you say.

    Regarding his 'guilt', I was under the impression that he did admit the shooting, but was claiming he thought he was about to get attacked and robbed. In FL he would probably not even get charged.


    He did (2.00 / 1) (#17)
    by jbindc on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 03:49:29 PM EST
    Justifiable homicide.  But I don't believe it was in any formal proceeding (comparable to a defendant sitting in an interrogation room, and not a court room, admitting a crime).  I could be wrong about that, but that's what it seems like from everything I've read.

    agree - my understanding too (none / 0) (#19)
    by ruffian on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 04:52:01 PM EST
    Oh no (none / 0) (#6)
    by waldenpond on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 02:35:39 PM EST
    we're practicing sharia now?  I expect King will demand a hearing.

    I don't even necessarily see it as 'ick' (none / 0) (#8)
    by ruffian on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 02:44:07 PM EST
    This is the law in the country in which he committed the crime. In some ways it is more enlightened than ours. In our country, we give victims no compensation for murder other than the revenge opportunity of seeing the convict killed. Which is more barbaric?

    Actually, we do so, don't we? (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Towanda on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 02:49:10 PM EST
    Families of victims can sue in civil court for loss of companionship, future income, etc., correct?  

    So Sharia law does it without the lawyers, and the families there get to keep all of the money.  


    I didn't know they could sue in civil (none / 0) (#10)
    by ruffian on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 02:55:35 PM EST
    court along with a trial in criminal court.

    But yes, you're right - Pakistan seems to have one stop shopping. The gov will do your 'suing' for you.


    Best example is (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by me only on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 05:59:42 PM EST
    OJ Simpson.  He lost in civil court after winning in criminal court.

    I wonder...under Pakistani law could the (none / 0) (#14)
    by ruffian on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 03:41:38 PM EST
    defendant have to pay restitution and also serve a sentence? I suppose so. Seems pretty flexible.