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Detained American Rejects Murder Charges in Pakistan


A supporter of Pakistani's religious and political party Jamaat-e-Islami holds a placard during a rally against U.S. national Raymond Davis in Lahore, February 25, 2011

A supporter of Pakistani's religious and political party Jamaat-e-Islami holds a placard during a rally against U.S. national Raymond Davis in Lahore, February 25, 2011

A U.S. consulate employee accused of killing two men in Pakistan has refused to sign a charge sheet, insisting he has diplomatic immunity.

Raymond Davis appeared at a hearing for the double murder charges Friday in Lahore. The court adjourned the case until March 3.

The Lahore High Court is separately considering whether Davis enjoys diplomatic immunity.

U.S. media reports this week quoted unnamed U.S. officials as saying Davis was working as a security contractor for the CIA at the time of his arrest.

The United States says Davis acted in self-defense when he shot and killed two men last month during an alleged attempted robbery in Lahore. U.S. officials say he has diplomatic immunity and should be released immediately.

Pakistani police have rejected Davis' version of events and say that their investigation found it to be a case of murder.

The January incident, complicated by the death of a third Pakistani struck by a U.S. diplomatic vehicle rushing to Davis' aid, has inflamed anti-American sentiment across the country.

Pakistani intelligence officials told news agencies Thursday that Davis' arrest has had a negative effect on cooperation with their American counterparts.

However, a senior Pakistani intelligence official says that the ISI, Pakistan's military spy agency, is not ready to split with the CIA.

Also Friday, Pakistani police say they arrested a U.S. citizen Aaron Mark DeHaven in the northwestern city of Peshawar for overstaying his visa. It is not clear what he was doing in Pakistan.

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