The American who shot dead two Pakistanis on a Lahore street is a CIA agent who was on assignment at the time of the incident, a UK paper said.
Raymond Davis has been the subject of widespread speculation since he opened fire with a semi-automatic Glock pistol on the two men who had pulled up alongside his car at a red light on 25 January.
Pakistani authorities charged him with murder, but the Obama administration has insisted he is an "administrative and technical official" attached to its Lahore consulate and is entitled to diplomatic immunity.
Based on interviews in the US and Pakistan, the Guardian said that the 36-year-old former special forces soldier is employed by the CIA. "It's beyond a shadow of a doubt," said a senior Pakistani intelligence official.
America insists he was acting in self-defence against a pair of suspected robbers, both of whom were carrying guns. But Pakistani prosecutors accuse the suspected spy of using excessive force, saying he fired 10 shots and got out of his car to shoot one of the men twice in the back as he ran away. The man's body was discovered 30 feet from his motorbike.
"It went way beyond what we define as self-defence. It was not commensurate with the threat," a senior police official involved in the case told the Guardian.
Many Pakistanis are outraged at the idea of an armed American rampaging through their second largest city; some analysts have warned of Egyptian-style protests if Davis is released. The government, fearful of a furious public backlash, says it needs until 14 March to decide whether Davis enjoys immunity.
Outrage has been heightened by the death of a third man who was crushed by an American vehicle as it rushed to Davis's aid. Pakistani officials believe the vehicle's occupants were also CIA because they came from the same suburban house where Davis lived and were heavily armed.
Davis served in the US special forces for 10 years before leaving in 2003 to become a private security contractor. A senior Pakistani official said he believed Davis worked with Xe, the controversial firm formerly known as Blackwater, before joining the CIA.
Pakistani suspicions about Davis's role were stoked by the equipment police confiscated from his car after the shooting: an unlicensed pistol, a long-range radio, a GPS device, an infrared torch and a camera with pictures of buildings around Lahore, according to Pakistani media.
"This is not the work of a diplomat. He was doing espionage and surveillance activities," said the Punjab law minister, Rana Sanaullah, adding that he had "confirmation" that Davis was a CIA employee.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 21 Şubat 2011, 13:35