LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — Officials say an American CIA contractor detained on suspicion of murder has been released after families of the two Pakistanis he killed pardoned him in exchange for compensation.

Raymond Allen Davis has been in jail since Jan. 27, seriously straining ties between Pakistan and the United States.

Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah says Davis was charged with murder on Wednesday but was then pardoned by the families of the victims in exchange for compensation payment, or “blood money.” According to MSNBC, Pakistani law allows murder suspects to be set free if they compensate the heirs of their victims.

Chaudhry Mushtaq, superintendent at Kot Lakhpat jail, says Davis had left the jail in the company of U.S. consulate officials.

U.S. officials were not available for comment.