LHC grants bail to ex-cops convicted in BB murder case

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LAHORE: The Lahore High Court’s (LHC) Rawalpindi Bench on Thursday granted bail to two former police officers convicted in Benazir Bhutto murder case.

A division bench of LHC Rawalpindi Bench comprising Justice Tariq Abbasi and Justice Habib Ullah heard the bail application of former Rawalpindi CCPO Saud Aziz and SSP Rawal Khurram Shehzad.

The cops were convicted by an anti-terrorism court and sentenced to 17 years behind the bars.

After hearing arguments of the petitioners’ counsel, the court granted bail to the former cops. The court directed them to submit surety bonds worth Rs0.2 million each.

On September 21, the Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi’s bench accepted the Pakistan People’s Party’s (PPP) appeals against the verdict of the anti-terrorism court in the Benazir Bhutto murder case.

The PPP had submitted three appeals, one challenging the order separating Musharraf’s trial from the case, the other is against the ‘lenient’ sentences against the police officers and the last against the suspected militants exonerated in the case, on behalf of PPP Co-Chairman and Benazir’s widower Asif Ali Zardari.

Earlier, while announcing the verdict in Benazir Bhutto murder case, an anti-terrorism court (ATC) had sentenced two police officers to 17 years imprisonment for being “negligent” and had acquitted the five suspects belonging to Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)—who were indicted in 2008. The court had also declared then-president Pervez Musharraf an absconder in the case.

Former prime minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in a gun and bomb attack after an election rally in Liaquat Bagh on Dec 27, 2007. The then government of Pervez Musharraf had blamed TTP chief Baitullah Mehsud for the killing but Mehsud had denied any involvement in the murder.