Prosecution fails to link two police officers to Benazir’s murder

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LAHORE – A division bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) observed that the prosecution has failed to unearth any incriminating material that connects the former Rawalpindi CPO Saud Aziz and an SP Shahzad Khurram with Benazir Bhutto’s assassination.
The bench observed that despite keeping the said people in a 24-day remand, the joint investigation team of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) could not establish the allegations under which both police officers had been charged. The bench, comprising Chief Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry and Justice Ijazul Ahsan, made these observations in a detailed order on bail petitions of Saud and Shahzad, which were allowed on April 5.
About the allegation of not getting BB’s autopsy, the bench said the record showed that after BB’s assassination, Saud Aziz asked Makhdoom Amin Fahim, a prominent figure of PPP, and participant of the rally about the post-mortem examination, but Fahim had told the petitioner that Asif Ali Zardari, who was on his way, would give final permission in this regard.
However, Zardari in his statements said that he did not want to get BB’s autopsy. Even otherwise, no application had been made by any of the legal heirs of the deceased regarding conduct of post-mortem till date, the bench observed. On the second allegation of immediately washing the place of occurrence following a conspiracy, the bench remarked, “We find no evidence on record regarding the conspiracy hatched by the petitioners for occurring of the said incident.”
The third allegation against Saud Aziz was that he had shifted certain security personnel from BB’s rally. The bench observed that the move was justifiable as BB’s rally was sailing towards its smooth end and petitioner was bound by the orders of the authorities to send force to another political party rally where an incident had taken place.
The bench said the case was of further inquiry and the petitioners could not be kept under incarceration for an indefinite period, as there were no chances of conclusion of trial in near future.