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Benazir Bhutto murder: Musharraf declared absconder by court


Islamabad, August 31: Five people were acquitted and two sentenced to prison by an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan in connection with a decade-old-case involving the gruesome assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

The court declared former military ruler Pervez Musharraf as absconder in the case, according to Pakistan Media.

Benazir killing case: Pak court likely to give verdict today

Former prime minister Benazir Bhutto was killed in a gun and bombing attack in Rawalpindi on December 27, 2007.

The case was registered soon after the assassination and the trial went through many ups and down until concluded yesterday in Rawalpindi.

ATC Judge Asghar Ali Khan who heard the case in city's Adiala Jail had reserved the judgment after conducting day-to-day hearing going on since Monday.

The trial of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf who was the president when Bhutto was killed and who has been accused will be held separately on his return to Pakistan.

The five suspects Rafaqat Hussain, Husnain Gul, Sher Zaman, Aitzaz Shah and Abdul Rashid were arrested soon after the assassination and have been in jail.

Then Rawalpindi police chief Saud Aziz and SSP Kurrum Shehzad are also among the accused . Both were arrested initially but released on bail in 2011.

The main trail five suspects started in January 2008, while Musharraf, Aziz and Shahezad were implicated in 2009 after fresh probe by Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

Eight different judges heard the case during this period who were changed due to different reasons. Initially TTP chief Baitullah Mehsud was blamed for murder and Musharraf's government issued a taped conversation of Mehsud with a certain operator in which he was congratulating the operator for the murder.

But FIA Chief Prosecutor Mohammad Azhar Chaudhry termed evidence of audio record as cooked up story by Musharraf to mislead the investigators and to save himself. In his concluding arguments, Chaudhry disowned the evidence and transcript of telephonic conversation.


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