"If the accused really acted in self-defense, he could have fired one or two shots to the lower limbs of the victims, particularly since he is an expert in using weapons," says a police investigation report recommending that Davis be charged with murder.
Pakistani police also had been seeking the driver of a consulate SUV that struck and killed a bystander while rushing to the scene of the shooting. Pakistani media have recently reported that the driver, a U.S. Embassy employee, is now back in the U.S.
Davis is being held in Lahore's 4,000-inmate Kot Lakhpat jail, where most of the prisoners are militants, a U.S. official said. He has been moved to a separate part of the compound, where guards have been barred from carrying firearms for fear that one of them may kill Davis, the official said. Dogs are being used to either smell or taste Davis' food to ensure it hasn't been poisoned, the official added.
"The Pakistanis have a solemn obligation to protect Ray Davis," the official said. "If they're not going to release him — which they certainly should, based on his diplomatic immunity — surely they can find a safer place for him."
According to a senior Obama administration official, the U.S. notified Pakistan that Davis was a member of its staff there on Jan. 20, 2010, and he therefore qualified for diplomatic immunity. After that, Pakistan's only recourse would have been to declare him "unacceptable" and ask him to leave, the American official said.
The case has put immense strain on a diplomatic relationship already marked by deep mutual mistrust. Members of Congress recently threatened to suspend military and economic aid to Pakistan over the crisis, though in recent days, Washington has struck a more conciliatory tone and stressed the importance of maintaining strong ties with Islamabad. The U.S. views Pakistan as a key ally in the war against Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan and in the battle against Al Qaeda militants and their allies in Pakistan's volatile northwest.
Rodriguez reported from Islamabad and Dilanian from Washington.