LHC to hear Benazir murder case appeal today after 5 years

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Notices issued to Zardari, Musharraf and others

After five and a half years, the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday finally fixed a hearing date for the appeals of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s murder case.

Chief Justice of the LHC Muhammad Ameer Bhatti constituted a special division bench comprising Justice Sadaqat Ali Khan and Justice Mirza Waqas Rauf. The bench will hear eight appeals related to this case on February 9 (today).

Notices were issued to Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chair and ex-president Asif Zardari, all five accused, the late Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf and convicted police officers.

Musharraf was accused in the case and his permanent arrest warrant is pending. After his death, however, the appeal against him is likely to be dismissed.

Of the five accused, Aitzaz, Sher Zaman and Hasnain will appear before the court, while Abdul Rasheed is imprisoned in Adiala Jail. The fifth accused, Rafaqaat, is missing.

Two police officers in the case, Saud Aziz and Khurram Shahzad are on bail. Both were sentenced to 17 years in prison and a fine of Rs1 million.

On December 27, 2007, Benazir Bhutto was assassinated after she had addressed an election rally in the historic Liaquat Bagh in Rawalpindi.