PPP challenges Benazir murder verdict

Asks LHC to award punishment to Musharraf
Staff Reporter


The Pakistan People’s Party challenged on Monday an anti-terrorism court’s verdict in slain former Premier Benazir Bhutto’s murder case.
Latfif Khosa, the counsel for PPP Co-Chairman and Benazir’s husband Asif Ali Zardari, filed three separate petitions with the high court against former military leader Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf, Rafaqat Hussain and Aitzaz Shah respectively.
Talking to reporters after filing the petitions, Khosa told reporters that Musharraf was threatening Benazir and the latter had clearly mentioned in her email that the former posed a threat to her life.
“Benazir Bhutto had written in her email that if any harm came to her, Musharraf would be responsible for it,” he added.
The counsel further said Benazir’s security had been removed and she was shot at pointblank range.
“The co-accused who have been acquitted should be put on trial again and hanged for their crime. Musharraf too should be handed down the death penalty in his absence,” Khosa demanded. The counsel further said police officer Saud Aziz also should be hanged.
Last month, a special anti-terrorism court had sentenced two senior police officers to 17 years in prison in the Benazir Bhutto murder case. Five others were acquitted and former president Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf was declared a proclaimed offender as he failed to appear before the court. The court declared the then city police officer, Saud Aziz, and the then superintendent of police, Khurram Shahzad, facilitators in the crime. The two police officers were accused of not allowing a postmortem on Benazir’s body and hosing down the crime scene and hence destroying vital forensic evidence outside Rawalpindi’s Liaquat Bagh where she had gone to address a public rally.
Suspected Taliban members – Hasnain Gul, Rafaqat Hussain, Rasheed Ahmed, Aitzaz Shah and Sher Zaman who had pleaded not guilty yet spent years in jail – were acquitted of all charges by the court. Benazir Bhutto, the former prime minister of Pakistan, was assassinated in a gun-and-bomb attack in Liaquat Bagh Rawalpindi on December 27, 2007. At least 23 Pakistan People’s Partyworkers had also died in the incident.

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