Pakistan court orders confiscation of Baitullah Mehsud's property

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Islamabad, Apr 22 (UNI) Pakistan's anti-terrorist court ordered confiscation of movable and immovable property of local Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud and his four associates allegedly involved in the assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.

The court issued the orders yesterday after declaring the five militants as proclaimed offenders.

Judge Chaudhry Habibur Rehman issued the orders after two police officials informed the court that posters declaring Baitullah Mehsud and Ikramullah -- the second suicide bomber in the assassination of Bhutto, both belonging to South Waziristan, Abadur Rehman and Abdullah alias Saddam of Mohmand Agency and Faiz Mohammad alias Kaskat of Northwestern Swabi town -- as 'wanted' have been duly pasted.

The police had arrested Aitzaz Shah, Sher Zaman, Abdul Rasheed, Hasnain Gul and Mohammad Rafaqat in connection with the assassination.

The judge also ordered the police to prepare 'wanted' posters for Baitullah and other accused for not appearing in the court, Dawn newspaper reported.

The judge deferred till May 10 hearing on a bail plea for Sher Zaman and an application of Aitzaz Shah seeking separate trial for being a juvenile, as Ishaq Khan, the public prosecutor representing the government, was not present in the court.

Lawyers of Aitzaz Shah and Rasheed Ahmed said in the bail applications that the accused had not been nominated in the FIR or criminal report of Bhutto's murder and the complaint had been filed by a police officer and not by a member of Bhutto's family.

They alleged that the evidence had been destroyed by washing the blast site; no post-mortem had been carried out; the accused had been arrested from a place other than the one stated by investigators; the confessional statements had been taken under duress; and the only allegation against the accused was that of concealing the criminal conspiracy.

UNI XC PD DS1245

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