Wed March 16, 2011
The Two-Way

Reports: CIA Contractor Released In Pakistan

"Officials say an American CIA contractor detained [in Pakistan] on suspicion of murder has been released after families of the two Pakistanis he killed pardoned him in exchange for compensation," The Associated Press reports. "Raymond Allen Davis has been in jail since Jan. 27, seriously straining ties between Pakistan and the United States."

Pakistan's Dawn Media reports that "a Pakistan court on Wednesday freed CIA contractor Raymond Davis after blood money was paid in accordance with sharia law, the Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said."

Sky News is on the story as well.

Update at 10:20 a.m. ET. NPR's Julie McCarthy just spoke to NPR Newscast's Dave Mattingly by telephone from Lahore, Pakistan. She told him that Davis was cleared on the murder charges but convicted on a charge of possession an illegal firearm. He was basically given a sentence of "time served" and then released.

Julie adds that "traditionally there is something under Islamic law that allows money to change hands" when a family forgives someone in Davis' position. "We're not aware of what sort of amount has changed hands."

We've taken three parts of Julie's conversation with Dave and spliced them together to create one file:

Update at 9:20 a.m. ET: NPR's Julie McCarthy, who is in Pakistan, has been told by Davis' lawyer that the reports are true. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.