Pakistan drops case against ex-CIA chief, agency's lawyer

AP News
Posted: Apr 30, 2015 3:51 AM

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistani police dropped a case that was recently registered against a former CIA station chief and a former agency lawyer over a 2009 drone strike that killed two people in a tribal region, police said Thursday.

The case against former acting general counsel John A. Rizzo and ex-station chief Jonathan Bank was dropped because the drone attack did not happen in the jurisdiction of the Islamabad police station where the complaint was filed, police officer Mohammad Nawaz said.

"We registered this case on orders from the court but on Wednesday night we dropped it because that drone attack did not take place in our jurisdiction in Islamabad," he said. Nawaz declined to provide further details.

Bank left Pakistan in 2010 after his cover was blown when a Pakistani man threatened to sue the CIA and others for $500 million over the deaths of his 18-year-old son and his brother in a purported Dec. 31, 2009 drone strike.

The CIA drone strikes have taken out a number of senior al-Qaida and Taliban operatives, but are deeply unpopular in Pakistan because they have also killed civilians.

Last week Washington revealed that drone strikes in January inadvertently killed two Western hostages and two American members of al-Qaida.

Since 2004, the U.S. has carried out nearly 400 suspected drone strikes in the country, according to the New America Foundation's International Security Program, which tracks the American campaign. The foundation says the last U.S. drone strike in Pakistan happened on April 12 and killed four suspected Taliban fighters.

The number of strikes has declined from 122 in 2010 to 22 last year, according to the foundation. There have been only four reported so far this year, and many observers believe the program is winding down.