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Benazir Bhutto murder case: Two sent to jail for 17 years, former Pak President Pervez Musharraf declared absconder

Former President Pervez Musharraf has been declared an absconder in the murder case of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
Written by: India TV News Desk Islamabad August 31, 2017 18:51 IST
India TV News Desk

A Pakistan court on Thursday sentenced two senior police officers to 17 years in jail for abetting the murder of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto while it declared former President Pervez Musharraf absconder in the case. Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Judge Asghar Ali Khan also directed to forfeit the properties of Musharraf, who is currently in London.

The court convicted former DIG Saud Aziz and SP Khurram Shehzad for abetting the crime while it acquitted five suspects - Rafaqat Hussain, Husnain Gul, Sher Zaman, Aitzaz Shah and Abdul Rashid - on murder charges. All five suspects were arrested soon after the assassination and have since been in jail.

Aziz and Shehzad were arrested initially but released on bail in 2011.

Former two-time premier Bhutto was killed in a gun and bombing attack in Rawalpindi on December 27, 2007 when she came out of park after addressing an election rally. The case was registered soon after the assassination and the trial went through many ups and down until concluded yesterday in Rawalpindi.

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 in his concluding arguments disowned the evidence of audio record and transcript of telephonic conversation. He termed it cooked up story Musharraf to mislead the investigators and to save himself.