Saudis arranged blood money for Davis’ release?

US has denied paying any blood money to secure the release of Raymond Davis.

Washington: Saudi Arabia is believed to have arranged the ‘blood money’, making the release of double murder-accused CIA contractor Raymond Davis possible after spending two months in a Lahore jail.

The Dawn quoted diplomatic sources as saying that the Saudis had joined the efforts to resolve the dispute late last month after it emerged that the Davis issue could lead to an irreparable damage to US-Pakistan relations.

Although they said that the Saudis had agreed to pay the money for the time being, they did not clarify how would the Saudis be reimbursed.

“This is something that needs to be discussed between the United States and the Kingdom. Davis`s surprise departure from Pakistan came after it became obvious that the Americans were getting impatient,” a source said.

The paper however quoted a New York Times report as saying that US officials have said that the money would be paid by members of the Pakistan government, and then reimbursed by the Obama administration.

They also insisted that the CIA had not promised to bring down its covert operations in Pakistan to earn Davis` release, adding that the CIA had refused to give the Pakistani government or its intelligence agency a list of American spies operating in the country.

On Thursday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton fell short of clarifying Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah’s claim that the blood money had been paid, saying: “Well, you`ll have to ask him what he means by that.”

On being asked about the claims by a lawyer involved in the case that USD 2.34 million was paid, Hillary said: “You will have to ask whoever you are interested in asking about that. I have nothing to answer to that.”

The US media had earlier claimed that the case was resolved after Pakistani officials met family members of the victims for more than six hours on Wednesday to arrange compensation.

The issue of payments was reportedly first raised with Pakistani officials by Senator John Kerry during a trip to Islamabad last month.


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