Cheeky Clinton ”grateful” for Davis release


CAIRO: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday the United States was “very grateful” for the family pardon that led to a US contractor being freed in Pakistan but said no compensation was paid.

A Pakistani court on Wednesday freed CIA contractor Raymond Davis accused of double murder after $2 million in blood money was paid to the families of the dead, ending a damaging row with the United States.

But Clinton insisted to reporters in Cairo: “The United States did not pay any compensation.

“The families of the victims of the January 27th incident pardoned Mr Davis and we are very grateful for their decision,” she said.

“We appreciate the actions that they took which enabled Mr Davis to leave Pakistan and head back home.

“We also have a Department of Justice investigation that has begun into the what happened in Lahore.

“And we have communicated our strong support for the relationship between Pakistan and the United States, which we consider to be of strategic importance, and are looking forward to continuing to strengthen it based on mutual respect and common interest.”

The incident sparked protests and it ruptured fragile ties between the United States and Islamabad, which had been under domestic pressure to stand up to its superpower ally and try Davis for murder.

But following a lengthy court hearing on Wednesday at the Lahore jail where Davis was detained, and where a media blackout was imposed, Punjab provincial law minister Rana Sanaullah confirmed he had been freed. (AFP)

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