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Pakistan Says American's CIA Link Has No Bearing On Murder Trial

Pakistani protesters demand the death penalty for Raymond Davis in Lahore.
Pakistan says that the courts will decide the fate of an American detained on murder charges, even after it was revealed he was a CIA contractor.

The case of Raymond Davis, who says he shot two men in self-defense on January 27 in Lahore, Pakistan, has strained U.S.-Pakistani relations.

"The New York Times" reported on February 21 that Davis was part of a CIA operation in eastern Pakistan that tracked Islamist extremists such as Lashkar-e Taiba, the virulently anti-Indian group blamed for the bloody 2008 siege of Mumbai.

A spokesman for President Asif Ali Zardari, speaking during an official visit to Japan, said Zardari "will wait for the court decision in this case."

The United States, however, says Davis has diplomatic immunity and should be released immediately.

His trial for murder begins on February 25.

compiled from agency reports