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CIA Agents Charged With Murder Over Drone Deaths in Pakistan

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A court in Pakistan is ordering police to file a criminal complaint against two former CIA officers, accusing them of murder, conspiracy and terrorism charges.

The charges are against former Pakistan station chief Jonathan Banks and CIA legal counsel John Rizzo on behalf of Kareem Khan, a resident in the North Waziristan region of Pakistan who lost a son and a brother in a drone attack that was carried out by the CIA in late December 2009, according to the Chinese news agency Xinhua.

The Islamabad police chief explained in court that the government didn’t want to file charges against the two ex-CIA operatives because doing so could jeopardize relations between the US and Pakistan.

© AP Photo / Mohammad SajjadPakistani women rally against the US drone strikes in tribal areas.
Pakistani women rally against the US drone strikes in tribal areas. - Sputnik International
Pakistani women rally against the US drone strikes in tribal areas.

The judge rejected that explanation and ordered the chief to register a complaint against Banks and Rizzo, and submit a copy to the Islamabad High Court to make sure it had been done.

Khan says he has been trying to file a complaint against the CIA since 2010.

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"Today's order is a victory for all those innocent civilians who have been killed in US-led drone strikes in Pakistan and as a citizen of Pakistan, I feel somewhat reaffirmed that perhaps people like me from Waziristan might also be able to get justice for the wrongs being done to them," Khan said after the court issued the order.

According to the Center for Investigative Journalism, some 960 Pakistani civilians have been killed in CIA drone strikes since 2004, including 207 children.

The CIA has not commented on the matter.

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