(Reuters) - Conspiracy theories swirl around the case of Raymond Davis, a CIA contractor being held in Pakistan for shooting dead two men, but Pakistani police reports appear to support his account that he was the target of armed robbers.
Some Pakistani media and officials, however, dispute Davis’ claim that he acted in self-defense, saying he shot the men dead in cold blood. This has helped fuel anti-U.S. sentiment in Pakistan, where anger at Washington runs deep.
The United States says Davis is a consular employee, enjoys diplomatic immunity and should be released immediately.
Pakistan’s government, under pressure from its own people, says the case has to be decided in court, which has further strained its already-frayed relationship with Washington.
Here are some of the details in Davis’ case that are disputed:
* The police report says Davis was driving his car on Qartaba Chowk Jail Road in Lahore when a motorbike driven by two men, Faizan Haider, and “Faheem, son of Shamshaad” tried to stop Davis.
* The United States says Davis believed his life was in danger after Haider allegedly “cocked his pistol and pointed toward” Davis.
* Pakistani media and some bystanders on Jail Road told Reuters that no pistol was brandished and that Davis opened fire without provocation on the two men, who were chasing him because he had bumped a rickshaw with his car.
* Davis and the United States say he acted in self-defense after the two men allegedly tried to rob him at gunpoint.
* Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah says the weapon carried by Haider wasn’t loaded and thus Davis has no right to claim self-defense.
* The Lahore Police Chief Aslam Tarin in a news conference said Davis committed “cold-blooded murder,” and called his victims “innocent youths.” Tarin also said Davis fired at one of the men as they were fleeing, further undermining his claim of self-defense. He also said Davis exceeded the right to self-defense by shooting to kill.
* The police report said “there was not a single bullet loaded in the chambers of either of the two slain people — Faizan Haider and Fahim Shamshaad. Rather all bullets were in magazines.”
* The United States, and Davis, says the two men were robbers.
* Pakistani media and politicians have often referred to them as “innocent youths” and said they had no criminal record.
* Some bystanders interviewed by Reuters said they initially assumed the two men were robbers.
* The police report says police recovered two .309 caliber pistols, eight live rounds, five cellphones, and 8,915 Pakistani rupees (about $100) from the slain men.
* Two apparently independent witnesses, however, said the same two men had robbed them hours earlier. Later, after hearing about the Davis incident on television, the witnesses recovered their stolen items from a police station.
Reporting by Mark Hosenball and Rebecca Conway; Editing Chris Allbritton and Miral Fahmy