The former head of the CIA in Pakistan should be tried for murder and waging war against the country, a high court judge ruled on Tuesday.

Criminal charges against Jonathan Banks, the former CIA station chief in Islamabad, were ordered in relation to a December 2009 attack by a US drone which reportedly killed at least three people.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the Islamabad high court also ruled charges should be brought against John A Rizzo, formerly the top CIA lawyer who gave the legal green light for drone strikes.

Banks’s name was first dragged into the public domain in 2010 when a tribesman called Karim Khan began legal action against the supposedly undercover spy chief over an attack by an unmanned aircraft on his home in North Waziristan which he said killed his brother and son.

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